The government on Saturday cleared the way for the bulk production of Dhanush, the indigenous 155 mm artillery guns.The Indian Army will get these guns for the first time in close to a three decades after the Bofors scandal on 1987. According to a decision at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) – the apex decision making body of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on new procurements- chaired by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, 18 Dhanush guns have been approved to be manufactured by the Jabalpur based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dhanush, also popularly termed as the desi Bofors, is a towed howitzer with a strike range of 38-km and costs about Rs 14 crore a piece even as the army plans to acquire a total of 114 of them to help its much needed artillery firepower strength. Dhanush has been developed by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata following the Transfer of Technology (ToT) under the Bofors deal.A senior MoD official said that while three Dhanush howitzer will be available to army for trials by June end, three more will be delivered to it by September.The decision over Dhanush coincided with the DAC also showing its satisfaction at the ongoing procurement process of 145 Ultra Light howitzers M777 from the US through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. Manufacturer of the gun, BAE Systems has partnered with India’s Mahindra Defence Systems for the $694-million deal for the supply of 145 M777 howitzers to the Indian Army.These ultra light guns are needed by on mountain terrains for their easy mobility even as the army is in the process of raising a 90,000 –odd strong Mountain Strike Corps for along the India-China border in Eastern sector.

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Thirty years after Bofors scandal, India to make the gun’s ‘desi’ version