Dhanush – desi Bofors handed over to the Army

Indian Army on Monday received the first batch of Dhanush artillery guns – a desi howitzer based on the Bofors technology.

The 155 mm x 45 Calibre artillery was manufactured by the Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur – one of the units of the Ordnance Factory Board – using the Bofors FH-77B gun technology, after the Defence Ministry dusted off the old Bofors licensing agreement and asked the OFB to make an indigenous one to deal with the shortage of artillery guns.

The Jabalpur unit went a step ahead and improved upon the original gun. Dhanush weighs 700 kg more than Bofors and has an 87 mm longer barrel.

As a result of such changes, Dhanush not only has a superior range of 38 km compared to Bofors, which can fire up to 27 km, but several of its functions are automated.

For instance, the desi Bofors has an auto laying system based on the Fire Control Computer System as compared to the manual system of the original one.

Dhanush incorporates inertial navigation system, an onboard ballistic computer, direct day and night firing system, a modern target acquisition system and a communication system to make the weapon compatible with the Indian army's Project Shakti – creation of the Artillery Command, Control and Communication Centre.

“Weighing less than 13 tonnes, with a high ground clearance of 400 mm, Dhanush is the most manoeuvrable artillery system and can be deployed in any terrain. It will provide the much-needed muscle to Indian Army in the days to come”, Gagan Chaturvedi, deputy director general at the OFB said in a media statement.

Indian Army has placed an order for 114 of these guns at a cost of nearly Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 15 crore apiece)

The handing over ceremony took place at Jabalpur in the presence of Saurabh Kumar, Director General Ordnance Factories and Chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board; Ajay Kumar, secretary, Defence Production in the Defence Ministry and Lt Gen PK Srivastava, the Director General of Artillery in the Indian Army.

However, the delivery comes nearly three years behind schedule as the gun experienced hiccups during the trials. The muzzle of one of the guns was broken and the barrel exploded, leading the OFB engineers to rework on those problems.

Once the problems were resolved, the final trials in Jaisalmer in June 2018 in which the guns fire 50 rounds a day at the peak of the summer was a resounding success.

 

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