In News: In a first, an indigenously developed howitzer gun, ATAG, became part of the 21-gun salute during the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort.
- Developed by the DRDO, the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) was used alongside the traditional British-origin ’25 Pounders’ artillery guns.
The 21-gun salute tradition
- When the National Anthem is played by the Military Band after the unfurling of the Tricolour at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister, a 21-volley gun salute is fired by a ceremonial battery from an artillery regiment.
- The tradition of gun salutes originates from the Western navies where guns from the ports and those from incoming ships used to be fired in a particular manner to convey that there was no belligerent intention.
- This tradition was carried forward as a way of paying respects or for according official welcome to the Crown, royals, military commanders and heads of states.
- India inherited the tradition from the British rulers who had gun salutes comprising 101 volleys, 31 volleys and 21 volleys, and so on depending on the hierarchy.
- In India, artillery gun salutes are fired on the Republic Day, the Independence Day and also at the time of oath taking ceremony of the President, among other occasions.
- Over the years, this 21-gun salute — which are blanks — was fired by the World War era howitzers of British make known as ‘Ordnance Quick Fire 25 Pounder’ or just ’25 Pounder’.
Inclusion of ATAGS
- This year, two Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) howitzers joined the battery that fired along with other 25 Pounders
- The ATAGS is an indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre howitzer gun developed by the DRDO with its Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) being the nodal agency.
- Howitzers is an umbrella term for a category of long-range artillery guns.
Induction of ATAGS into Army
- The system is currently undergoing an evaluation by the Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) marking its final stage before the Army places orders for it.
- The DGQA is a nodal agency for the quality assurance of all arms, ammunition, equipment and stores supplied to the Armed Forces.
- The armament system of ATAGS mainly comprises barrel, breech mechanism, muzzle brake and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunition held by Army with a longer range, accuracy and precision and provides greater firepower.
- The ATAGS is configured with all electric drive to ensure maintenance free and reliable operation over a longer period of time.
- It has advanced features in terms of high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system, automatic command and control system with night firing capability in the direct fire mode.
- During its test at Pokhran, the maximum ranges of 38.5 km and 48 km, with boat tail and extended range full bore types of projectiles, were achieved.
- During the same trials, a minimum range of 4.7 km was achieved from the systems meeting the critical parameter of minimum range at high angle
- The specialised gun system is compatible with C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) systems like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System (ACCCS) called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, and operational logistics management of the Army.
Previous Year Question
Q.1) With reference to the Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct? (2014)
- It is a surface-to-surface missile.
- It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.
- It can deliver a one-tonne nuclear warhead about 7500 km away.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
- 1 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3