The DRDO scientists are hopeful that they would be able to add considerably to the army's firepower in the coming years, be it development of Future Main Battle Tank Arjun, a "desi" Bofors or bi-modular charge systems.
The DRDO is satisfied with the progress on the project to mount 130mm guns of old Vijayanta tanks on the new Arjun tanks. Sources said the 40 Arjun catapults ordered by the army as part of this project should be ready in a few months. The army's confidence in the Arjun chassis led to the project fructifying.
The next indigenous push is in the induction of 155mm artillery. Along with army's request of proposal for the 155mm 52 calibre guns, the DRDO has launched a parallel development programme for the same. It is hopeful of developing the gun well before time. The progress on building 155mm 39 calibre Bofors guns at home is on track, though scientists admit that it should have been taken up earlier as the designs were available for several years.
Another major bottleneck has been the production of bi-modular charges for the artillery guns. The programme to produce this ammunition in India has been doomed. The first tie-up to produce bi-modular charge systems was made with Denel of South Africa but the company got blacklisted on charges of corruption. Sources said the production is going to start soon.