India’s new domestically manufactured 155mm artillery howitzer, Dhanush, is expected to be ready for use by the national army by the end of the year.
A derivative of the Bofors 155mm gun, Dhanush is scheduled to undergo summer trials in the deserts of Rajasthan, India, to confirm its accuracy, range and rate of fire.
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) chairman MC Bansal said: "We have put together a special project team to look into different aspects of the product, including the cradle, barrel and the hydraulic and electrical systems.
"Once the last round of trials is complete, we will supply the guns to the forces by this year-end."
The howitzer had recently cleared the winter trials at a military range in Sikkim, India.
Following the completion of extensive trials, the 155mm, 45 calibre Dhanush would enter mass production at the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh in central India.
Equipped with computerised fire control system, the howitzer can fire eight rounds per minutes up to 38km in the plains, while the original Bofors gun has a maximum effective range of 27km.
The Indian Army has placed an order for a total of 114 guns, whose prototype was also displayed at Defexpo 2014 in New Delhi last month .
OFB said that the work on the second Dhanush version is also under way. The sub-systems are being developed and, once this gun fires successfully, work on the next-generation Dhanush would gather momentum.
Image: Dhanush is an Indianised version of the Swedish Bofors 155mm howizer. Photo: courtesy of Hemantphoto79.