Nagpur: After a pause for want of a spare, the production of Dhanush, the Indian Bofors artillery guns, has resumed with the Advance Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWEIL) planning to deliver 26 new howitzers to the Indian Army during this financial year. This will take the total number of Dhanush guns with the Army to 50. There is an order to supply 114 guns in all.
AWEIL is the new defence PSU formed out of the ordnance factories three years ago.The Dhanush is smade at the Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) at Jabalpur. The first batch of six guns was handed over by the GCF to the Army in April 2019.
The production was recently affected as one of the spares used in a sub-assembly could not be procured in time. Components are purchased from the private sector also. In this case, the spare was procured from an overseas source by the private vendor located in India.
The delivery of imports to the Indian vendor itself was delayed, holding up work on Dhanush, said sources. The problem has been solved now.
It was a small part and not typically a defence item, said the source. Since not each and every item can be made by the original equipment makers, spares likes these are also purchased from the private sector. However, the delay in getting it from the foreign source held up the manufacturing process. Now, there is enough stock of the item and further hiccups are not likely, the source said.
Made on the basis of the Swedish Bofors, Dhanush is an advanced gun as compared to it. With a calibre of 155×45 as against 155x 39 of the Swedish Bofors, it has a higher range and advanced mechanism.
It’s been a long way for the Dhanush to make it to the Army. The bulk order was received over 10 years ago. The initial stages were marked by accidents like barrel burst or muzzle brake hits. At that time, the GCF came under the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). Apart from the accident, even the norms were stricter for the ordnance factory, which also took time, said sources.
Now, with the corporatization, fresh terms and conditions were signed with the new entity AWEIL. The delivery is happening on schedule as per the new terms, the source said. The company has also undertaken internal trials of the 155×52 calibre, which is a higher version of the same gun.