Dhanush, India’s first indigenous long-range artillery gun has cleared tests under severe cold conditions in Sikkim and Leh and in hot and humid weather in Balasore in Odisha, Babina in Jhansi and in the desert of Pokhran in Rajasthan. Six guns in battery formation, at one go and at one target, successfully fired 101 rounds on June 7, 2018; and are now ready for induction into Army. Plan is to induct 18 Guns in 2017, 36 Guns in 2018 and 60 Guns in 2019; completing the order for 114 guns for Indian Army.
Indigenous development of artillery guns in India initially started in the 1970s with the Artillery Gun Development Team under Brigadier Gurdyal Singh at Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur. India acquired Bofors gun in the 1980s and the purchase included technology transfer to Ordnance Factories Board (OFB). Dhanush project was started by OFB to replace the older 105 mm Indian Field Gun, 105 mm Light Field Gun and the Russian 122 mm guns with a modern 155mm artillery gun.
- Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre towed howitzer artillery gun and is also called the “desi Bofors” as its design is an unattributed reverse-engineered version of Swedish Bofors, now Haubits FH77
- Dhanush came out 20 to 25% better than the Bofors in trials in parameters like range, accuracy, consistency, low and high angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot ability.
- It has a strike range of 38 kilometres
- Its 81% components are indigenously sourced and this would go up to 90% by 2019
- It has features like electronic gun-laying and sighting systems.
- Its Recoil is Electro-rheological/Magnetic- rheological
- Its Elevation is -3 to 70 degrees
- Its rate of Burst Fire is 3 rounds in 15 seconds and of Intense Fire is 60 rounds in 60 min
- Dhanush is planned to enter service in four to five months
- Dhanush is compatible with all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) 155 mm ammunition systems
- Mounted Gun System, a vehicle mounted variant of Dhanush, was showcased by OFB at the Defexpo 2018: ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’, held on sea-shore, along the East Coast road en-route Chennai to Mahabalipuram in March 2018
- The gun is mounted on 8×8 Tatra truck license manufactured by BEML and can do 30 km/h cross country speed and 80 km/h road speed.
- Version 2 of the Dhanush or DRDO 155 mm artillery gun is under development and will upgrade the current 155 mm/45 caliber to 155 mm/52 caliber.
- Dhanush v2 larger calibre ordnance will increase the strike range by 4 km to 42 km