On Monday, 8th April, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) handed over the first batch of indigenous artillery gun Dhanush to the Indian Army in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Also called the Desi Bofors these guns will be deployed along the borders of India with China and Pakistan.
It is an upgraded Swedish Bofors gun that India procured in the 1980s. To mark the occasion, the OFB officials handed over 6 six guns to the Indian Army at the Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur.
Chairman, IOFS and DGOF, Saurabh Kumar flagged off the first batch of Dhanush from GCF.
Indigenization Up to 91% Possible By 2019
In its recent statement, the Defence Ministry stated, “Indigenisation to the extent of about 81% has already been achieved. By the end of 2019, the indigenization level of the gun will go up to 91%,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.” An Army source said, “The first Dhanush regiment with 18 guns is expected to be ready by the end of next year.”
On February 18, 2019, the Indian Army gave GCF a Bulk Production Clearance (BPC) for manufacturing 114 guns. These Dhanush Guns are a 45-caliber towed artillery guns of 155mm having a range of 36 km. It demonstrated a range of 38 km with specialized ammunition.
The new Dhanush gun is an upgraded version of the existing 155m Bofors FH 77 gun with 39 calibers. Dhanush fulfills all the compatibility norms of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) related to 155mm ammunition system.
Dhanush Is Fitted With GPS, Inertial Navigation System
Initially, the trials of the first phase were conducted at Pokhran and Babina ranges between July and September 2016. The second phase was conducted between October and December 2016 with three guns at the Siachen base camp.
The third and last phase included user exploitation trails and was completed in June 2018 with 6 guns. The indigenous artillery gun Dhanush has inbuilt global positioning system (GPS) and an inertial navigation system, auto-laying, enhanced tactical computer for conducting onboard ballistic computations and based gun recording.
The indigenous artillery gun Dhanush also includes an automated gun sighting system with camera, onboard muzzle velocity recording, laser range finder, and thermal imaging.
The OFB is expected to deliver all the 114 guns within four years. To fulfill the target the OFB has already started to augment its capacity and manufacture more than 400 barrels and 250 ordnances required for large caliber weapon systems.
According to an OFB official, “The OFB is confident of producing 8-10 guns a month within two to three years.”