India's 155-mm artillery gun ::
The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has developed the electronically upgraded desi version of the original Swedish 155mm Bofors howitzer, and the guns are currently at the trial stage.
The artillery gun has been christened 'Dhanush'. We take a look at some interesting facts about it:
Long-forgotten designs ::
The long-forgotten designs obtained under transfer of technology (ToT) provisions in the infamous Rs 1,437-crore Bofors contract in 1986 for 410 howitzers have been used to develop the new guns.
Army wants 414 such guns ::
The Army wants 414 such guns. They have been upgraded to 45-calibre from the original 39-calibre to give the new howitzer a 38-km range compared to the 30-km of the original Bofors gun.
The OFB has already been given an over Rs 1,260 crore order to make 114 howitzers.
20-25% better ::
Both the Army and OFB, in fact, are 'quite excited' about Dhanush, which they claim performs '20-25% better' than the original Bofors gun in virtually all parameters like range, accuracy, consistency, low and high angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot ability.
Around 80% indigenous now ::
'Dhanush is around 80% indigenous now. It costs just about Rs 14 crore apiece. Only its APU (auxiliary power unit), electronic dial sights and a few other small items are imported.,' an official has told TOI.
Began work a few years ago ::
The Army-OFB team began work a few years ago on the original designs.
There was a slight setback to the project when the barrel of a Dhanush prototype burst during firing trials at Pokhran in August 2013. But officials contend it was the use of 'old ammunition with air bubbles' that led to the accident.