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Arjun Catapult

130 mm self-propelled gun

Arjun Catapult

The Arjun Catapult comprises of 130 mm towed gun integrated on main battle tank chassis

 
 
Country of origin India
Entered service ?
Crew ~ 7 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 44.5 t
Length (gun forward) ~ 10.3 m
Hull length ~ 7 m
Width 3.85 m
Height ~ 3.6 m
Armament
Main gun 130 mm
Barrel length 58 calibers
Projectile weight 33.4 kg
Maximum firing range 27 / 40 km
Maximum rate of fire 8 rpm
Elevation range - 2 to + 45 degrees
Traverse range 25 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ~ 30 rounds
Mobility
Engine MTU 838 Ka 501 diesel
Engine power 1 400 hp
Maximum road speed 72 km/h
Range 450 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.7 m
Trench ~ 2.4 m
Fording ~ 1.4 m

 

   The Arjun Catapult is a self-propelled gun (SPG), recently developed in India by DRDO to meet Indian Army requirements. It is also referred as Catapult Mk.2. Feasibility study for this artillery system was carried out in 2012. Study concluded, that production of Arjun Catapult could be carried out in a very short time. Also capabilities of Indian Army artillery would increase. During the same year a prototype was completed and trials began. It was one of the fastest projects of DRDO. The Arjun Catapult was first publicly revealed in 2014.

   This artillery system comprises of a Soviet 130 mm M-46 towed gun integrated on Arjun Mk.1 main battle tank chassis. Such improvised design can be considered a stop-gap solution. Some sources claimed that Indian Army was expected to order 40 of these artillery systems. However it is unknown if this SPG will really reach production. A number of Indian projects and foreign weapon procurements were stopped or plagued with delays due to funding problems and corruption.

   The Arjun Catapult is be mainly used to engage in indirect fire. Its typical targets are enemy artillery unit, tanks, troops at their concentration areas, permanent defensive installations and other field fortifications.

   Design of the Arjun Catapult is similar to that of the previous Catapult artillery system, which was a conversion of ageing Vijayanta tanks fitted with the same Soviet M-46 gun. Production of original Catapult commenced in 197 and about 100 of these self-propelled guns were built. Now this system is being phased-out from active service. The Arjun Catapult is intended to replace it. It is claimed that in terms of stability Arjun chassis outmatched Vijayanta chassis by a large margin.

   A 130 mm gun is mounted in the center of the turretless vehicle. Crew members are seated in an open area around the gun. There is a horizontal metal shield for overhead protection. Vehicle retains the drivers position. This artillery system fires backward in relation to the vehicle hull. The gun has a limited traverse 12.5 on either side.

   The Soviet M-46 gun was developed back in 1950s. It was a successful design and was widely exported. Indian Army is still satisfied with performance of this gun. It fires separate loading ammunition. The are high-explosive, anti-tank and illumination rounds. Maximum range of fire with ordinary projectiles is 27 km. Maximum range with rocket-assisted projectiles is 40 km. The gun can fire directly up to a range of 1.4 km. Normal rate of fire is 6 rounds per minute. This self-propelled gun is capable of launching 8 projectiles in burst firing mode. Sustained rate of fire is up to 5 rounds per minute. The system can carry about 30 round of ammunition.

   This artillery system has a crew of about 7 men. Some sources report that Arjun Catapult provides protection for the crew against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds and artillery shell splinters. Overhead metal shield also has the same level of protection. It is unknown if the hull of Arjun MBT retains its protection or is it welded from thinner armor. Vehicle is fitted with automatic fire suppression system.

   The Arjun Catapult is powered by a German MTU 838 Ka 501 diesel, developing 1 400 hp. Engine is mated to a German Renk semi-automatic transmission with 4-forward and 2-reverse gears. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension.

   There is also a Bhim 155 mm self-propelled howitzer and Arjun BLT bridgelayer, based on Arjun Mk.1 tank chassis.

 

   Images and video by Tarmak 007, Indian defense blogger.

 

Video of the Arjun Catapult self-propelled gun

 
Arjun Catapult

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Arjun Catapult

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Arjun Catapult

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Arjun Catapult

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Arjun Catapult

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