The indigenously designed and manufactured 155mm artillery gun, Dhanush, is finally expected to be inducted into the Army after the 45 mm caliber gun has successfully met all technical parameters during the winter and summer trials.
Giving the information to members of Parliament of the consultative committee attached to his ministry, defence minister Manohar Parrikar today said Dhanush incorporates many improved features compared to the guns with the Army at present.
The DRDO started the 155 mm artillery gun project to overcome the delays associated with the overseas procurement of artillery guns due to issues of corruption and irregularities. Many of the companies that bid for the contract are either blacklisted for utilising unfair means to gain the contract leading to single vendor issues and guns not meeting the requirement of the Indian Army. The artillery guns were not procured after the Bofors scandal. Hence it was planned to replace the older guns with a modern indigenously developed 155mm artillery gun.
DRDO along with private companies, including L&T, Bharat Forge are developing the 155 mm artillery gun, and it was originally planned to be handed over to the Indian Army for trials in 2013.
The consultative committee was discussing the role, performance and future of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), one of the oldest and largest production organisation of the ministry of defence. OFB is a conglomerate of 39 ordnance factories with another two new projects being set up at Nalanda in Bihar and Korwa in Uttar Pradesh.
Parrikar said the defence ministry has taken a number of initiatives for improving the performance of OFB. This includes efforts to operate OFB on a corporate model (not corporatise) with a commercial accounting system. The procurement manual has also been revised keeping in view the `Make In India' plan to facilitate long term procurement.