With lessons from the Ukraine war, the Army revises its artillery plan

What is the historical background of Indian Artillery?

  • Mughal Empire (1526-1857)
      • The Mughal Empire (1526-1857), one of the most powerful empires in Indian history, made substantial contributions to the development and employment of artillery in India.
      • Firearms and artillery were brought by Emperor Babur, who established the Mughal Empire in India. In conflicts against indigenous Indian monarchs, Babur’s soldiers employed early cannons.
  • The Marathas (1674-1818):
      • The artillery corps of the Maratha Empire, which arose in the 17th century, was well-organized. In different battles and campaigns, they used cannons and other artillery pieces.
  • British East India Company
      • India became a battleground for many European nations during the colonial era. In particular, the British East India Company developed superior artillery systems and tactics.
      • During this time, the British Indian Army established modern artillery units equipped with cannons and howitzers.
  • World War I and the Declaration of Independence:
      • As part of the British Indian Army, Indian artillery forces played an important role in both World Wars. They were used in a variety of combat zones.
      • The Indian Army inherited and continued to improve its artillery after India gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
  • Post-Independence Period:
    • India focused on strengthening indigenous artillery capability after independence. In this regard, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) performed critical roles.
    • India has created and acquired a diverse array of artillery systems, including field guns, howitzers, rocket launchers, and anti-aircraft guns.

What are the lessons learnt from the Russian-Ukrain war?

  • Firepower is essential: The Ukraine war demonstrated the significance of firepower as a key factor in modern combat.
  • Target Acquisition and Engagement in Record Time: The battle in Ukraine demonstrated the need for early target acquisition and engagement.
  • Survivability Matters: The Ukraine war showed the importance of artillery survival in the face of contemporary threats.
  • Preparation for Prolonged Warfare: The Ukraine crisis emphasized the need to be prepared for long-term wars and the importance of sustaining operations
  • Lesson on Indigenization and Modernization: The Ukraine war highlighted the need for modernizing indigenous military equipment and weapons.

What are the changes that the Indian army is planning to bring to its artillery corps?

  • Focus on the Firepower: The Indian Army emphasizes the importance of firepower as a key aspect of modern warfare. It is investing in artillery systems that can provide increased firepower in terms of both range and precision.
  • Rapid Response and Mobility: In response to the shorter target acquisition and engagement times seen in current conflicts, the Army is responding by obtaining more nimble and responsive artillery equipment. Self-propelled and mounted gun systems that can be quickly deployed and repositioned are examples of this.
  • Enhanced Survivability: Recognizing the importance of survivability, the Army is using techniques like “shoot-and-scoot,” which involves firing on a target fast and then relocating to evade counter-fire. This strategy improves artillery unit survivability.
  • Preparation for Long-Term Conflict: The Indian Army is taking steps to guarantee that it is ready for long-term battles. This entails establishing a strong defence industry ecosystem to ensure a long-term supply of equipment and weapons.
  • Indigenization and Modernization: India is working to modernize its artillery by introducing new systems such as the M777 Ultra Light Howitzer and the K9-Vajra Self-Propelled Guns. There is also a focus on indigenization, minimizing reliance on foreign suppliers, and building domestic capabilities.


To summarize, the Indian Army’s artillery unit is undergoing a major makeover in order to meet the demands of modern warfare. This includes a heavy emphasis on firepower, agility, survivability, and indigenization, which are all critical for maintaining a viable and successful artillery force in the face of changing security concerns.