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ATAGS, the indigenous howitzer

  • Published
    16th Aug, 2022

In a first, an indigenously developed howitzer gun, ATAG, became part of the 21-gun salute during the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort.


Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) howitzer:

  • The Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) howitzer is the first in the world to have a range of 45 km. It's self-propelled and can be towed easily.
  • The ATAGS is an indigenous 155 mm x 52 calibre howitzer gun developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with its Pune-based facility Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) being the nodal agency.
  • The ATAGS project was started in 2013 by DRDO to replace older guns in service in the Indian Army with a modern 155 mm artillery gun.
  • A howitzer is an umbrella term for a category of long-range artillery guns. 

The 21-gun salute tradition

  • When the National Anthem is played by the Military Band after the unfurling of the Tricolour at the Red Fort by the Prime Minister, a 21-volley gun salute is fired by a ceremonial battery from an artillery regiment.
  • The tradition of gun salutes originates from the Western navies where guns from the ports and those from incoming ships used to be fired in a particular manner to convey that there was no belligerent intention.
  • This tradition was carried forward as a way of paying respects or for according official welcome to the Crown, royals, military commanders and heads of states.
  • India inherited the tradition from the British rulers who had gun salutes comprising 101 volleys, 31 volleys and 21 volleys, and so on depending on the hierarchy.
  • In India, artillery gun salutes are fired on the Republic Day, the Independence Day and also at the time of oath taking ceremony of the President, among other occasions.
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