The Dhanush gun system was showcased for the first time at the 71st Republic Day parade on Sunday. The 155 mm/45-calibre gun system is a towed Howitzer designed indigenously by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). It is the first long-range artillery gun to be produced in India and has been billed as a success of the government’s Make in India initiative.
Range and capabilities
The gun has a maximum range of 36.5 km and has the capability of automatic alignment and positioning. According to a government release from last year, it is equipped with inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, onboard ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system.
The gun is intended for use in all kinds of terrain. The self-propulsion unit allows it to negotiate and deploy itself in mountainous areas with ease. The performance of Dhanush has been evaluated under arduous conditions in several phases, the government release said. Each gun travelled over 1,600 km in towed and self-propelled mode in both desert and high altitude terrains. Such an extensive exercise was carried out by the user for the first time for any gun system under the process of induction, the release said.
Successor to Bofors guns
Dhanush, a product of joint efforts by the OFB and the Indian Army with contributions from DRDO and several other government and private enterprises, is an improved version of the FH-77B 155 mm/39-calibre field howitzers that were originally produced by AB Bofors of Sweden, which is now BAE Systems.
According to the government release, the manufacture of a 155 mm modern artillery gun was initially a challenge for OFB. This was due to change in the vision parameters from 155/39 calibre to 155/45 calibre. OFB received the Transfer of Technology (ToT) documents pertaining to 155/39 calibre and then converted it to 155/45 calibre successfully.
Dhanush has been mechanically upgraded to fire standard NATO 155 mm ammunition and can accommodate both boll bags and the bimodular charge system (BMCS) which have resulted in increasing the range. Dhanush has also been electronically upgraded to enhance firing accuracy.
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