“Dhanush” Passes Its Final Test, Ready For Induction

0
600

Jaipur: India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun “Dhanush” has passed its final test at Pokhran, paving the way for its induction into the Army, a senior official said on Friday.

Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun and is also called the “desi Bofors”. Between June 2-6, fifty rounds of shells each were fired from six Dhanush guns, Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) Senior General Manager SK Singh told reporters here today.

A probe by different Ministry of Defence departments into the two incidents, however, did not find any fault with the gun, Singh said, adding that Dhanush is among the finest artillery guns in terms of accuracy.

Manufactured by the Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), each of the 155-mm gun costs about Rs 14.50 crore while each shell costs Rs one lakh, a former top official of the factory said.

The gun has passed tests under severe cold conditions in Sikkim and Leh and in hot and humid weather in Balasore, Odisha, Babina in Jhansi and in the desert of Pokhran in Rajasthan, Singh said.

It has a strike range of 38 kilometres and 81 per cent of its components are indigenously sourced, the official said. Besides features like electronic gun-laying and sighting systems, the indigenous gun’s hitting range was 11 km more than the imported Bofors guns, he added.

The gun has been developed by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata, after going through design documents running into over 12,000 pages.

These documents were given to India as part of the first phase of “Transfer of Technology” (ToT) under the Bofors gun deal inked in the late 1980s.

Six years ago, the Defence Acquisition Council had decided to look for artillery guns within the country and asked OFB to start manufacturing howitzers.

Towards that end, former Defence Minister A K Antony inaugurated a 155-mm gun manufacturing facility at GCF on September 22, 2012.

The Swedish Bofors company (now owned by Britain’s BAE System) could not complete the ToT for the 155mm x 39mm calibre howitzer as the deal got embroiled in a major political row over alleged kickbacks.

---