Indian army soldiers stand on 155mm FH 77 Bo2 Bofors artillery gun during the 'Vajra Shakti' (Power of Thunder) army exercise at Gag, some 45kms south of Jalandhar, 09 May 2005. The exercise, which involves some 25,000 troops is being conducted from 01 to 10 May, in the northern Indian state of Punjab. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN
NEW DELHI — India claims it has built an improved version of the original 155mm howitzer the Army bought in 1987 by upgrading the barrel from 39mm to 45mm.
The newly upgraded 155mm x 45mm gun, named Dhanush, (cq) has successfully cleared both winter and summer trials, says an April 27 Ministry of Defence release. the official release of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), April 27.
"The indigenously designed and manufactured 155mm x 45mm caliber artillery gun, Dhanush, has successfully met all technical parameters during the winter and summer trials," the MoD release said.
The state-owned Ordnance Factoryies Board (OFB) began upgrading the hHowitzer, 155mmx39 calibre guns bought in late 1980's from the erstwhile Bofors of Sweden, now BAE Systems, based on schematics the drawings supplied by the ex Swedish company under a the technology transfer agreement. it had contracted.
However, in 2013 winter trials the upgraded barrel burst. because it could not take the stress. In-house engineering at OFB helped change successfully changing the metallurgy of the gun, an MoD official said, claiming that the Dhanush now has met all Army the requirements after the of the Indian Army after winter and summer trials.
An Indian Army officer said the service has they have already placed an ordered for 114 of the guns, numbers of Dhanush but refused to confirm whether the upgraded Dhanush gun has met all service their requirements.
The Indian Army is desperate to acquire the weapon get Howitzer gun as it has not been able to buy a single howitzer gun since 1987, despite a 1999 long-term 1999 plan wanting to convert all existing artillery guns to 155mm/52 caliber guns at a cost of more than over US $6 billion.