If all goes well over the next few days, the Indian Army's prayers for a towed artillery gun looks set to be answered soon.
The summer trials of 'Dhanush', a 155-mm, 45 calibre gun built by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), a defence public sector unit, are slated to begin at the Pokhran firing ranges from Friday, highly placed sources have told NDTV. The winter trials, a prerequisite along with summer tests, was carried out in the high altitude areas of Sikkim in the winter of 2013...
...The Army has given an initial indent of 116 guns to the OFB, with an option to increase the order to 416 pieces of artillery. The OFB gun, with its electronic sighting and laying system (Ballistic Control System or BCS) for aiming the gun at the target, will be a major improvement over the Bofors' manual system. More importantly, the Dhanush is likely to be priced at Rs. 14 crore a piece, less than half of a similar gun manufactured abroad.
While the original Bofors gun has a maximum effective range of 27 kilometres, 'Dhanush' can fire a salvo up to 38 kilometres in the plains, those involved with the gun's manufacturing said.
If the trials go off smoothly and the Army then gives the final clearance, the OFB has plans to double its manufacturing capacity from the current 18 guns a year.
In 'Dhanush', Indian Army's Prayers Answered - NDTV