Artillery is a class of large military weapons built to fire munitions far beyond the range of normal or small weapons.It is important part of any army or armed force as artillery not only supports ground troops but also helps in destroying enemy strongholds.
After the Bofors scandal India army has not inducted or bought a new 155 mm artillery gun .Also out of the 410 the BOFORS howitzers which the army inducted during 1986 to 1991 only 200 are left operational.
|INDIAN ARMY WITH BOFORS|
For modernization of artillery several tenders were issued but at last all were cancelled fearing charges of corruption and fear of scandals.
|TENDER CANCELLATION NEWS|
Although parts of BOFORS were made in India to keep guns operational but still a shortage of guns was created .
As BOFORS was bought under TOT or TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY so India had the blueprints of the original bofors.
So in the beginning of 21st century OFB started a project based on BOFORS to replace the older 105 mm Indian Field Gun, 105 mm Light Field Gun and the Russian 122 mm guns with a modern 155mm artillery gun.
Dhanush is a 155mm/45 cal artillery gun developed by OFB.It is electronically upgraded indigenous version of bofors .
The project was nearly scrapped when the barrel of one prototype of Dhanush blasted during trials few years ago but later it was found that the cause of accident was use of old ammunition which was 10+ years old.
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.
It has now entered its final round of user-trials in Pokhran field firing ranges after successful winter trials in the mountains of Sikkim where according to officials "It outclassed the Bofors during the trials in Sikkim at sub-zero temperatures at 11,500 feet altitude,".
CREW 6 TO 8
RANGE 38 KM DHANUSH V1 & 42 KM WITH V2.
COST 14 CRORE PER PIECE
the range of Dhanush(38 km) is about 10 km more than original bofors(28 km)) and it beats bofors on all parameters .
WITH DHANUSH UNDER FINAL TESTING IT WILL BE INDUCTED IN ARMY SOON AND ARMY HAS PLANNED TO GET NEARLY 414 DHANUSH 155MM/45CAL HOWITZERS .NOT ONLY IT IS BETTER THAN MOST ARTILLERY GUNS OF ITS CLASS BUT ALSO IT IS VERY CHEAP ( HALF THE PRICE) WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER FOREIGN GUNS.
ALONG WITH DHANUSH ARMY ALSO IS BUYING 145 M777 ULTRALIGHT HOWITZERS FROM USA BECAUSE THEY CAN BE EASILY TRANSPORTED AND EVEN AIRLIFTED USING CHINOOK HELICOPTERS ALONG WITH 100 K9 VAJRA-T SELF PROPELLED ARTILLERY (SPA).
SOME OTHER PROJECTS ARE ALSO BEING DEVELOPED TO ELIMINATE ANY SHORTAGE OF ARTILLERY.