Independence Day: In A First, DRDO’s Howitzer To Be Part Of 21-Gun Salute

New Delhi: On the occassion of 75th independence day, a home-grown howitzer gun will be used for the first time for the ceremonial 21-gun salute at Red Fort, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said on Wednesday, as reported by news agency PTI. The ATAGS gun (Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System) was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. The ATAGS will give the formal 21-Gun Salute alongside the British firearms which are being traditionally used till now, Kumar said.

The ministry said the drive to use the firearm will remain as a demonstration of India’s growing capacity of developing arms and ammo natively.

The weapon has been particularly modified, with certain technical specifications being changed for the ceremony.

A group of DRDO’s Armament Research and Development Establishment, Pune, led by scientists and artillery officers worked in the project to make use of the gun possible for the Independence Day ceremony, said minsitry.

The ATAGS project was begun in 2013 by the DRDO to replace older guns in service in the Indian Army with a modern 155mm artillery gun.

This specific weapon framework is compatible with C4I frameworks like the Artillery Combat Command and Control System called Shakti for technical fire control, fire planning, deployment management, operational logistics management of the Indian Army.

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The defence secretary additionally said NCC cadets from all areas of the nation have been invited to attend the main event at Red Fort.

These cadets will be seated at ‘Gyan Path’ before the Red Fort’s ramparts in a geographical formation of the map of India.

The cadets will adorn local dresses, symbolising India’s cultural diversity, to convey forward the message of ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’, said Kumar.

In continuation to the drive taken during Republic Day 2022, the segment of society, which is typically ignored, has been welcomed as extraordinary visitors for Independence Day also, he said.

“These include anganwadi workers, street vendors, mudra scheme borrowers, mortuary workers etc. They have been invited to attend the main event at Red Fort,” Kumar said.

Kumar said a total of 26 officials and managers and 127 trainees from 14 nations – – US, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Fiji, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, The Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Seychelles, the UAE and Uzbekistan – – are now in India for the Independence Day festivities.

(With PTI inputs)