- India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun Dhanush has passed its final test at Pokhran, paving the way for its induction into the Army.
- Dhanush is the first indigenous long-range artillery gun.
- It is a 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun and is also called the desi Bofors.
- It has a strike range of 38 kilometres.
- Further 81% of its components are indigenously sourced. The scale would go up to 90 per cent by 2019.
- It is better than Bofors with features like electronic gun-laying and sighting systems
- Besides its strike range was 11 km more than the imported Bofors guns.
- With a range of over 35 kilometres in the high-altitude terrain, the gun can help us win artillery duels with Pakistani Army on the LoC in case of ceasefire violations.
- A total of 1,520 rounds have been fired in all the three phases.
- All-terrain tested: The gun has passed tests under severe cold conditions in Sikkim and Leh and in hot and humid weather in Balasore, Odisha, Babina in Jhansi and in the desert of Pokhran in Rajasthan.
- During the trials, the guns travelled extensively in towed/ self-propelled mode in desert and high-altitude terrains with each gun clocking over 1,000 km demonstrating their mobility.
- The gun has been developed by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata and manufactured by the Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF).
Background of indigenization
- The design documents of the howitzers were given to India as part of the first phase of Transfer of Technology (ToT) under the Bofors gun deal inked in the late 1980s.
- The Swedish Bofors company (now owned by Britains BAE System) could not complete the ToT for the 155mm x 39mm calibre howitzer as the deal got embroiled in a major political row over alleged kickbacks.
- Subsequently, the OFB struggled for long to produce the howitzer indigenously.
Plugging the critical operational gap
- In 2015, the army along with DRDO and OFB worked together to develop the desi howitzer called Dhanush.
- It was important to augment indigenous capability to develop artillery guns as no 155mm artillery guns are inducted after Bofors scandal of 1980s.
- Dhanush, the indigenously-developed 155mm gun with 45 calibre having advanced features, has much better range, accuracy, reliability, angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot capabilities