India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun “Dhanush” has successfully completed final user trials and now it is ready for induction into the Indian Army.
THREE SUCCESSFUL TRIALS
- The first phase of trials was conducted between July and September 2016 at the Pokhran and Babina ranges and the second phase was conducted between October and December 2016 at the Siachen base camp with three guns
- This trial was the third and final phase of user exploitation firings in which six Dhanush guns were fired in a battery formation from May 31 to June 7, 2018, at Pokhran field firing range.
- A total of 301 rounds were fired from the six guns, including burst fire.
- In all the three phases, a total of 1,520 rounds have been fired.
- During the trials, the guns traveled extensively in towed/self-propelled mode in desert and high-altitude terrains with each gun clocking over 1,000 km demonstrating their mobility.
- The Dhanush project has received support and active cooperation from other ordinance factories and PSUs such as SAIL, BEL, and many private sector companies.
KEY-FACTS OF DHANUSH
Dhanush, as an artillery system has proved to be one of the best amongst its class. It is capable of targeting at long ranges incorporating autonomous laying features and having one of the most sophisticated suites of electronic and computing systems in the world.
- Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mmcalibre artillery gun, with a strike range of 38 km and is also called the ‘desi Bofors’.
- It is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured by India in the mid-1980s, developed by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata.
- Besides features such as electronic gun-laying and sighting systems, the indigenous gun’s hitting range was 11 km more than the imported Bofors guns.
- Important specification of the Dhanush is given below:
Length 45 caliber Elevation 3 to 70 degree Strike Range 38 kilometers Indigenous component 80 percent Crew 6 to 8 Breech Screw type Recoil Electro-rheological/Magneto-rheological
- The Ordnance Factory Board under the Department Production of Ministry of Defence has an indent from the Army for 114 guns and will start supplying the guns on receipt of the Bulk Production Clearance (BPC).
- The OFB has already supplied six guns for battery firing during the user trials and another 12 guns will be issued within a year on receipt of the BPC.
- The entire order of 114 guns is to be delivered within four years.
- The Board has undertaken capacity augmentation to manufacture over 400 barrels and 250 ordnances for large-caliber weapons systems to meet the requirement.
- As of now, the gun has over 80% indigenous content, the imported systems include the power pack, parts of the electronic suite, and some seals and bearings.
BENEFITS FOR INDIA
- In Army: The Indian Army needs a huge number of howitzers of different types, and Indian firms, some in partnership with foreign manufacturers, are in the race to fulfill the demand.
- Leading at world stage: Dhanush gun system has laid the foundations for India catapulting itself straight on to the world stage, India will soon emerge as a leading Artillery Gun design and manufacturer in the form of evolution of ATAGS, which would be the highly advanced version of Dhanush.
- Future potential: In future, it will potentially take over guns in this category. Dhanush’s long-range, light-weight and automation features will help it immensely.
Dhanush incorporates many improved features over the Army’s existing guns. The success is of paramount importance for the futuristic Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS)programme. Moreover, this success of Dhanush in all the major trials held so far has brought in cheers and much-needed hope to all those who wish to see indigenization and self-reliance in defense sector a reality. Dhanush is the successful flagship venture under the much-hyped ‘Make in India’ initiative.