In a major boost to its fire power, the Indian Army on Monday received the first batch of six 'Dhanush' artillery guns from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), a defence official said. The guns were handed over by Saurabh Kumar, Director General, Ordnance Factories and the OFB chairman, at a ceremony organised at the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The 155mm x 45 calibre modern artillery gun system was developed by the Ordnance Factories jointly with the Army, the official said.
The OFB had received bulk production clearance in February, and the initial order of 114 guns was placed by the Army. The artillery gun incorporates the latest features such as an inertial navigation system, an on-board ballistic computer, direct day and night firing system, a modern target acquisition system and a communication system, the official said.
GoI hands over first batch of six155 mm X 45 Calibre â€œDhanushâ€, new generation towed artillery gun with major upgraded features, to Army at Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur on 08 Apr 2019. #MakeInIndiaInDefence achieved 81% of indigenization & likely to be 91% by end 2019 pic.twitter.com/DYPy6YueUdâ€” Defence Spokesperson (@SpokespersonMoD) April 8, 2019
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, he said. Significant contributions have also been made by DRDO, public sector units such as SAIL and BEL and several private sector firms in the development of the gun, the official added.
The gun, a towed howitzer, has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata, after going through the design and documents running into over 12,000 pages which were given to India under the first phase of â€˜Transfer of Technologyâ€™ (ToT) as part of the Bofors gun deal in the late 1980s. The army had been desperately looking for 155-mm howitzers for more than a decade now. It had roped in an Israeli company, Soltam, to upgrade the imported, Russian-made 130-mm gun to 155-mm at GCF. But the project, after the upgraded gunâ€™s trial, ran into hot water, the official claimed.
India's #FirstEver indigenously designed & developed Dhanush 155mm/45 Calibre towed Gun System is ready for induction into #IndianArmy & will be handed over by Ordnance Factories Board #OFB on 8 April 19. Dhanush can be employed in all types of terrains. pic.twitter.com/o7ceCmDAeIâ€” ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) April 7, 2019
The Modi government has expedited several key defence projects. Amid tension with Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, several experts had pointed out that Indian armed forces have poor inventory. In wake of such scenario, the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday passed a crucial defence project. According to news agency ANI, Nirmala Sitharaman-led defence ministry has cleared a major project for the Indian Army. The project will result in acquisition of 10 lakh 'made in India' multi-mode hand grenades. The new hand grenades will replace the existing inventory. The more than Rs 500 crore proposal is critical as the government has already taken care of the main personal weapon requirements of the Army soldiers by signing two contracts for modern rifles.Â Â