Artillery is known as the God of war for its ability to deal massive casualties & swing battles decisively. This was first seen in the subcontinent when in 1526 Babur used artillery to decisively swing the First Battle of Panipat in his favor despite the Opposing forces of Ibrahim Lodhi being numerically superior.
The Modern regiment of artillery of the Indian Army was born in 1827 with the Raising of the Bombay Artillery as a regular unit of the British Indian Forces. By the time India became independent in 1947 this had grown to become an 18.5 Regiment strong force in service of India with another 9.5 regiments being transferred to Pakistan. These Nascent beginnings laid the foundation for a force which in 2009 stood at 216 regiments which comprised 180 Field and Medium Regiments, 25 Light Regiments, 10 Rocket Regiments and one Cruise Missile Regiment.
The past decade brought with it the fastest modernization the Artillery units of the Indian Army had seen in the past 31 years and the corps is now on an expansion path which should see it grow to reach 280 regiments by 2030. Along with the increase in numerical strength a qualitative boost is also on the way as older 122 & 130mm guns get phased out in favor of modern 155mm guns. The artillery should see a further increase in reach as the newer 155/52caliber guns will fire shells at far greater ranges than even the vaunted FH-77 BOFORS of Kargil Fame.
The increase in tube artillery strength will be anchored with an increase in the numbers of Medium guns from 3240 today to nearly 4000 by 2030. The Army has already spoken about inducting nearly 2000 155/52 ATAGS towed artillery & another 414 Dhanush155/45 guns 114 of which are currently under order. Amongst other towed guns the OFB is currently upgrading 300 old 130mm M-46 into 155/45 caliber Sharang artillery units which should also stay in service, at least 180 of the 300 odd 155/39 FH-77 guns would likely remain as well. Apart from these we should see 300 K9 155/52 Self-propelled artillery guns enter service, the tender for 814 truck mounted artillery guns has been pending for quite some time & should be resolved soon as well.
Apart from tube artillery Rocket artillery should see rapid expansion .The Indian army has already made clear its intension to induct 22 regiments of the PINAKA MBRL by 2026. These combined with the three relatively modern SMERCH regiments should see the rocket artillery grow to 25 regiments.
The Missile forces have already grown from one regiment in 2010 to 5 regiments today & should grow to 8 regiments easily by 2030. We will also see progressive induction of drones & Artillery locating Radars which increase the effectiveness of Artillery manifold.
The increasing strength in artillery will give the Indian Army the capability to punish OPFOR attackers much more easily than earlier, suffice to say that the God of war is reawakening like never before & a rain of fire will await those who look upon India with Malice.
Author : Soumik Pyne has a day job as an engineer & is an independent commentator on Defence & Strategic affairs. He can be reached on his twitter id @Aryanwarlord