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Indian Army's long wait ends, 'desi Bofors' Dhanush to be inducted next week

‘Dhanush’, Aka ‘Desi Bofors’, Was Also Showcased For The First Time At The Republic Day Parade In New Delhi This Year.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Surabhi Pandey | Updated on: 23 Mar 2019, 12:36:08 PM
Dhanush gun has a strike range of 38 km, which is 11 km more than the imported Bofors guns. (File photo)

New Delhi:

India’s long wait to upgrade its firepower will end next week. According to latest report, indigenously-developed Dhanush howitzers will be inducted next week. “Formal induction ceremony will be held at the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur on March 26,” a defence ministry official was quoted as saying by Time of India. After the Bofors scandal in 80s and subsequent trouble in deals involving South African Denal, Singapore Technology Kinetics, India was unable to upgrade its artillery arsenal.

India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun ‘Dhanush’, aka ‘Desi Bofors’, was also showcased for the first time at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi this year. The 155-mm gun cost about Rs 14.50 crore a piece. Besides features like electronic gun-laying and sighting systems, the indigenous gun has a strike range of 38 km, which is 11 km more than the imported Bofors guns.

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 ‘Transfer of Technology’ (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 gun’s trial, ran into hot water, the official claimed.

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. 

(With agency inputs)      

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First Published : 23 Mar 2019, 12:00:22 PM