#GS-03 Science and Technology, Internal Security
- The K9 VAJRA-T 155mm/ 52 is a tracked self-propelled howitzer and is the export variant of K9 Thunder commonly used by the South Korean Army.
- It has been designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development along with civil contractors including Dongmyeong Heavy Industries, Kia Heavy Industry, Poongsan Corporation, and Samsung Aerospace Industries.
- The tank will be manufactured under license in India using 50% of the domestic content such as FCS and communication system.
- It is capable of a high rate of fire at long-range and is compatible with Indian and standard North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) ammunition.
- K 9 is capable of firing in Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) mode.
- The K9 has the ability to fire three shells in under 15 seconds i.e., one every 5 seconds with each following a different trajectory so that they all hit their target at the same moment in MRSI mode.
- The K9 Thunder platform is made from all-welded steel armour protection material.
- The K9 Armour can protect the crew from 14.5 mm Armour-piercing shots, 152 mm shell fragments, anti-personnel mines, as well as nuclear, biological, and chemical threats.
- The K9 gun has been procured under the ‘Buy Global’ programme of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) which allowed foreign companies to participate.
- These weapons have already been deployed along the Line of Actual Control with China.
- The K9-Vajra was primarily bought for defending the Thar desert, but the stand-off prompted them to be deployed in the mountains as well.
- The self-propelled howitzers have a range of 38 kilometres but they have been able to successfully hitting targets at 50 kilometres in the mountains with 16,000 feet altitude in Eastern Ladakh.