In what would be a shot in the arm for a force that has not had a new 155mm artillery gun inducted since the Bofors scandal of 1987, the Indian Army will soon be handed over the indigenous howitzer ‘Dhanush’, also known as ‘desi bofors’.
Dhanush, the indigenously-developed 155mm gun with 45 calibre having advanced features, is likely to be handed over to the army in November this year,” Senior General Manager of Jabalpur’s Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), NK Sinha said.
Costing about Rs 14 crore apiece, Dhanush is comparable to most current generation weapons systems which are in use by different countries, the official added.
Along with electronic gun-laying and sighting systems and other features, the indigenous gun has an enhanced 11-km range as against the gun range of 27-km of the imported Bofors.
For well over seven years, the army has been worried over its dwindling artillery strength and has frequently raised concerns over it. The army made several attempts to procure four types of howitzers, but all of them proved abortive due to one reason or the other.
The trials saw some 2,000 rounds being successfully fired from the howitzer in different climatic conditions in India in snowy, desert and hostile areas, the official added.
Army is looking to acquire a total of 114 of the Dhanush guns from GCF to augment its firepower, he said.
Indian army had stationed a special team of officers at GCF to help monitor the progress, coordinate proof resources and provide guidance regarding the qualitative requirements vis-a-vis the gun system from the user’s perspective, the official said.
“A team from the 506 Army Base Workshop, close to CGF, was constantly providing technical inputs which it acquired for the project for over more than two decades,” he added.