The indigenously upgraded artillery gun Dhanush has successfully completed final user trials and is ready for induction into Indian Army. During third and final phase of user exploitation firings conducted from May 31 to June 7, 2018 at Pokhran field firing range, six Dhanush guns were fired in battery formation with 301 rounds each. With this test, Dhanush artillery gun has been tested in all terrains
Dhanush is upgraded version of Swedish 155-mm Bofors howitzers, which India procured in the mid-1980s, based on its original designs. It is also called desi Bofors. It is 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun. It has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata based on requirements of Indian Army and manufactured by Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF).
Its armament system comprises a barrel, muzzle brake, breech mechanism and recoil mechanism to fire 155 mm calibre ammunitions. It has strike range of 38 kilometres (11 km more than imported Bofors guns) with accuracy and precision. It provides greater fire power, depending on type of ammunition used. It also has night firing capability in direct fire mode.
It has several significant advance features, including an all-electric drive, high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary power mode, advanced communication system and automated command and control system. It has six round magazine, instead of standard three round. It weighs slightly more than normal due to the larger chamber. Its 81% components are indigenously sourced and it will be scaled up to 90% by 2019. Its imported systems include power pack, parts of the electronic suite, and some seals and bearings. Each of this gun costs about Rs 14.50 crore while each shell costs Rs. 1 lakh. Indian Army has ordered 114 guns that will be delivered within four years.
The first phase of trials was conducted between July and September 2016 at Pokhran and Babina ranges. The second phase was conducted between October and December 2016 at Siachen base camp with three guns. Total of 1,520 rounds have been fired in all the three phases. During these trials, guns travelled extensively in towed and self-propelled mode in desert and high-altitude terrains and each gun clocked over 1,000 km, demonstrating their mobility.