India’s multi-pronged plan to self-produce artillery guns is finally inching ahead to end the two-decade delay. At least two types of guns are in final stages of being handed over to the Army.
“Dhanush” is being made at Ordnance Factory Board, while Advance Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) has been designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and will be manufactured by Tata and Bharat Forge.
In its report in Parliament on August 7, the Comptroller and Auditor and General (CAG) said: “Pending successful clearance in user trials and consequent finalisation of system configuration, bulk production clearance (BPC) for the indent of gun placed on OFB in March 2013 was yet to be accorded by the Army and as a result, deficiency in holding of modern artillery gun continues”.
Six of the OFB produced Dhanush are now undergoing “battery fire test”—all guns firing collectively—sources said adding that the plan so far was to get 18 guns by March next year. A bulk production order would be placed soon.The MoD is positive on the ATAGS and very soon will place order for 12 guns for the Army to start using it before suggesting any changes. A formal proposal is expected to be okayed by the Defence Acquisition Council. Also, 145 pieces of the M777 ultra light howitzer will start arriving from September next year.
On Target ::
– Being made at Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), ‘Dhanush’ has a maximum effective range of 38 km, onboard computer, electronic suite to enable real-time adjustments as regards moving and static targets
– Advance Towed Artillery Gun System has been designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and will be manufactured by Tata and Bharat Forge
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