Artillery: News & Discussion

Cybaru
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Cybaru » 27 Apr 2015 20:20


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby member_23694 » 27 Apr 2015 20:44

With the offset regime in place, OFB is looking towards delivering many sub-systems to leading overseas players:@manoharparrikar
OFB's new role will encompass design, development, bulk production and life cycle support of equipment: @manoharparrikar
OFB is undergoing a paradigm shift from a manufacturer of defence equipment to a complete solution provider: @manoharparrikar
Quality audit of 8 #OFB factories will be undertaken by a globally reputed firm to improve process & quality of products: @manoharparrikar
Ordnance Factory Board will adopt the best practices of a commercial department with a commercial accounting system:@manoharparrikar
Home grown 155mm 45 Calib Arty Gun Dhanush has met all tech parameters in Winter and Summer Trials:@manoharparrikar


Welcome news and quite a change from the past when
Gen VK Singh in his book " Courage and Conviction" mentions that the manufacturing plans and know how and wherewith all was always there with the OFB. And that on a visit to the OFB the army top brass was shocked, when they found out about it. For decades, OFB guys were just sitting on it, MOD was unaware, Army was unaware. All this time army desperately needs guns.

Good for the country

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby pragnya » 27 Apr 2015 20:52

Thakur_B wrote:M-46 upgrade should be proving grounds for private sector players. Its easy to slap indigenous label on imported guns like all the private players are doing. Doing low margin upgrade work where you won't have anything left once you pay off your gora "consultants", that's where their inhouse design capabilities will be put to test if they have to remain competitive.


i don't disagree with your larger point of providing ground to the pvt sector but these guns are very old and if IA wanted them to be upgraded they would have done it long back as Punj Lloyd, some others and OFB itself were offering it for a long time now. the fact that they do not want to do it for both logistical, maintainence and economical reasons (my guess), it begs the question. whether modern guns are needed or not considering no guns have been inducted for 2 decades now?

may be the other way is to open another line for the pvt sector so these M46s are disposed off quickly.

besides i hope the pvt sector will be part of the other acquisitions planned for artillery modernisation programme of the IA.

rider : ofc i am not well versed with these systems. if M46s have enough life and can be handled trouble free, i am all for it. but the upgrade itself will take lot of time and money which can be better invested in the newer guns. the newer guns cost 12-14 crores as per the news report. how much will the upgrade cost?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 27 Apr 2015 21:41

pragnya wrote:
Thakur_B wrote:M-46 upgrade should be proving grounds for private sector players. Its easy to slap indigenous label on imported guns like all the private players are doing. Doing low margin upgrade work where you won't have anything left once you pay off your gora "consultants", that's where their inhouse design capabilities will be put to test if they have to remain competitive.


i don't disagree with your larger point of providing ground to the pvt sector but these guns are very old and if IA wanted them to be upgraded they would have done it long back as Punj Lloyd, some others and OFB itself were offering it for a long time now. the fact that they do not want to do it for both logistical, maintainence and economical reasons (my guess), it begs the question. whether modern guns are needed or not considering no guns have been inducted for 2 decades now?


The M-46 upgrade program is being restarted, with OFB and private sector players to compete for orders.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Gyan » 27 Apr 2015 23:56

I think that M-46 upgrade should be given to Pvt sector. Rhetoric aside, OFB has been slowly setting up facilities to produce various components of Bofors for almost two decades and Dhanush is the culmination of those efforts.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Vipul » 28 Apr 2015 02:01

^^^^^Indian Army hands over first M-46 guns for upgrade contest.

The Indian Army on 10 September approved the release of four Soviet-era M-46 130 mm field guns to four local contractors that will upgrade them to 155 mm/45 calibre standard.

Industry sources told IHS Jane's that the guns would be handed over to Bharat Forge, Punj Lloyd and Tata from the private sector and the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) sometime in October.

The four companies, which will be allowed to form overseas tie-ups for the upgrade, will have 12 months to complete the retrofit before offering the guns for trials. Thereafter, one gun will be shortlisted and its vendor awarded a tender to upgrade 300 M-46s.

The OFB and Israel's Soltam upgraded 180 M-46s to 155 mm/45 calibre under a USD45,524,137 contract awarded in 2001; they equip 10 artillery regiments.

The M-46 upgrade is a delayed response to the army's 1999 Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan, which aims by 2027 to acquire 2,800-3,000 155 mm/52-calibre towed, wheeled, tracked and mounted guns and 155 mm/39-calibre lightweight howitzers.

India's last major artillery acquisition was the 1987 purchase of 410 Bofors FH-77B 155 mm/39-calibre towed howitzers from Sweden. The army currently has around 200 guns in service following cannibalisation due to a shortage of spares.

The army is planning to buy 144 OFB-built 155/45 cal FH-77Bs, prototypes of which are in their final round of trials.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby hanumadu » 28 Apr 2015 03:29

Trials a hit, desi Bofors outguns Swedish original

NEW DELHI: This is one 'Make in India' defence project that is now finally booming. The desi howitzer, christened Dhanush, can outgun the original Swedish Bofors 155mm artillery gun in range, accuracy, reliability, angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot capabilities.

The Army is now getting set to induct the first battery of six Dhanush guns, which will be the first 155mm howitzers to be acquired by the force since the infamous Bofors scandal torpedoed all its artillery modernisation plans in the mid-1980s.

Recurring scandals in artillery procurement projects kept it derailed thereafter, with the infamous Bofors ghost looming large over attempts to plug the Army's operational gaps in long-range, high volume firepower.

Ironically enough, it's the original Bofors gun that came to the rescue of the beleaguered force. The Army-DRDO-OFB team kicked off work on the long-forgotten original designs, obtained under transfer of technology provisions in the infamous Rs 1,437 crore Bofors contract of 1986, a few years ago. It has led to the electronically upgraded Dhanush howitzer now.




Defence minister Manohar Parrikar told the parliamentary consultative committee on defence on Monday that the 155mm/45-calibre Dhanush howitzers had "successfully met all technical parameters" during the winter and summer trials at Sikkim and Pokhran. Dhanush incorporates "many improved features" over the Army's existing artillery guns, he added.

While the first battery of guns would be ready "in a couple of months", the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is stepping up its manufacturing line for "bulk production" at the Jabalpur Gun Carriage Factory from 2016 onwards.

"The first order for 114 guns worth Rs 1,260 crore, already indented by the Army, would be completed in a three-year timeframe. The production capacity will go up to 30-35 guns a year. The Army has said it eventually requires 414 such guns," said a source.

The desi howitzer has been upgraded to 45-calibre from the 39-calibre of the original Bofors gun to extend its strike range to 38 km with "extended range, full-bore" ammunition. Costing around Rs 14 crore apiece, the Dhanush is about 83% indigenous. "The ore to steel for the gun barrel is made by the OFB. The only imported parts are the auxiliary power units, electronic dial sights and some others," said the source.

There was a major hiccup in the project when a Dhanush prototype's barrel burst during firing trials at Pokhran in August 2013. But a detailed analysis showed the problem was due to the usage of 12-year-old ammunition rather than the howitzer itself. "The trials took around two years to reach this stage," he added.

The Dhanush, however, will plug just a small operational gap. The overall artillery modernisation plan for 155mm/52-calibre guns, worth around Rs 1 lakh crore, envisages the induction of 814 mounted, 1,580 towed, 180 wheeled and 100 tracked guns, among others.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Pratyush » 28 Apr 2015 06:47

Gyan wrote:Will Army move the goal posts or place order for balance 1580-144=1436 Howitzers on OFB?


The plan was to have 52 calbier guns. The order for 414 guns is a compromise on the part of the army.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby pragnya » 28 Apr 2015 07:01

Thakur_B wrote:The M-46 upgrade program is being restarted, with OFB and private sector players to compete for orders.


thanks for the confirmation which validates your point as evidenced by Vipul's post ammediately after but note the date of the report - 14th sept 2014. it says the guns to be handed over by october 2014. have they been handed over? if yes, they should be available for evaluation by october 2015. hope this is on as i have not seen any reports (may be i have not put any effort) of it moving forward. if the army in it's wisdom thinks there is sense in these upgrades, so be it as they must have factored in all issues.

however is it cost effective as Punj lloyd's upg involves pretty much everything as a new gun as this shows.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Nikhil T » 28 Apr 2015 07:16

Ajai Shukla: Dhanush gun clears army trials

The Indian Army’s most worrying operational gap --- that of field artillery guns to support infantry and armour in battle --- is gradually being filled. An Indian 155 millimetre, 45-calibre artillery gun called the Dhanush has cleared its field trials and is ready for manufacture in numbers.

Talking to Parliament’s consultative committee on Monday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said “Dhanush has successfully met all technical parameters during the winter and summer trials. Dhanush incorporates many improved features than the guns [that] the Army is possessing at present”.

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has built the Dhanush from manufacturing blueprints that Swedish company, Bofors, supplied India as part of the controversial 1986 purchase of 410 FH-77 howitzers. The OFB was going to build over a thousand of these howitzers in India, but allegations of kickbacks scuttled that plan; for years, OFB sat on the blueprints.

Now, it has not only figured out how to build these guns, but has upgraded these from the FH-77’s original 39-calibre to a more robust 45-calibre howitzer.

A higher calibre denotes a longer barrel and, consequently, a longer range. OFB officials say that upgrading the 39-calibre FH-77 into the 45-calibre Dhanush has increased the gun’s range from 27 kilometres to 38 kilometres, using enhanced range ammunition.

The OFB, it is learnt, will now receive an order for building 114 Dhanush guns, to equip 6 artillery regiments. If these guns perform to the army’s satisfaction, the order could go up to about 400 guns.

So far, the army is satisfied with the performance of the Dhanush during winter trials that were carried out in Sikkim and summer trials in Rajasthan last year.

Overall, the artillery consists of 264 regiments, many of them holding 105 and 130 millimetre guns. However, it has been decided that its basic gun will be 155 millimetres, so that their heavier shells can pulverize a piece of ground before infantry soldiers or tanks move to capture it, reducing casualties.

The artillery lobs shells from as far away as 20 kilometres, but has historically caused more battlefield casualties than any other arm.

With India having concluded no big artillery purchase since the 1980s, a range of tenders are now out for procuring modern artillery.

The purchase of 145 ultralight howitzers (ULH) from BAE Systems is being processed with the US government. With BAE Systems demanding close to $700 million (Rs 4,500 crore), the government has told parliament the price is too high.

Even so, the ULH is considered essential for the army’s new, but now-curtailed, mountain strike corps. Weighing only 4.2 tonnes (compared to the Dhanush’s 10 tonnes) the ULH can be transported rapidly by helicopters in the mountains.

Separately, the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) is partnering private firms like L&T, Bharat Forge and Tata Power SED in a Rs 700 crore project to build the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG). This 155-millimetre, 52-calibre gun could have a planned range of 60 kilometres, while weighing just 12 tonnes.

In November, Parrikar sanctioned the purchase of 814 mounted gun systems (MGS) for an estimated Rs 15,750 crore. In this tender, Indian companies will establish joint ventures with foreign gun-makers.

To equip the artillery until the indigenous projects fructify, tenders have been floated in three more categories of 155 millimetre guns. These are for purchasing (a) 1,580 towed guns; (b) 100 tracked (self-propelled) guns; and (c) 180 wheeled (self-propelled) guns.

Towed guns are for regular use in plains and gentle mountains; tracked (self-propelled) guns are mounted in armoured vehicles to support tank formations; wheeled (self-propelled) guns are for fast-moving, non-armoured formations; The MGS is a regular 155-millimetre gun fitted onto a high mobility vehicle. This allows it to move faster and start firing quicker than a conventional towed gun.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Gyan » 28 Apr 2015 08:29

I think the drawings of Dhanush/Bofors should be released to Pvt sector and versions like towed, mounted, tracked, upgrades etc should be based on Dhanush & awarded om competitive basis.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Abhay_S » 28 Apr 2015 08:40

Saurav Jha @SJha1618 · 31m 31 minutes ago
OFB is also working on a 52 cal Dhanush.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Gyan » 28 Apr 2015 09:56

As per official information per PBI link, the production rate will go up to 60 howitzers in third year. So I assume OFB should be able to manufacture 440 howitzers in next 6 years followed by 52 caliber Dhanush and then say ATAGS from 10th year onwards.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 28 Apr 2015 10:21

imo no point putting all eggs in OFB basket and creating another HAL type sarkari monopoly. sure give them half the 52cal order when it passes trials, meantime test and quality the Kalyani 52cal (GC45 based) and let them start making half the 52cal in the 100s for the other half.
the shells are all compliant and either gun can fire the shells. the 52cal just needs a bigger charge for the longer ranges.

we need atleast 2 strong desi players in artillery given the scale of our needs.

PMO needs to come down very hard on DGMF and Arty directorate to speed up trials, stop moaning for unobtainium iphone7 products like Archer and order and deploy desi kit to fullest extent.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 28 Apr 2015 10:30

If OFB is actually working on a 52cal variant then its good news. They are finally showing some aggression. Where will the DRDO gun now fit in would be a good question to be asked, your basic towed gun needs to be ultimately of the same type. They should also be able to scale up more quickly than the DRDO with way lesser risks.

One only needs to go to a Med Regt, the IA showers nothing but praise on what is clearly a sound design. Now they are getting what they have preferred all along. Incidently the Bofors wasn't the first choice during the original tender. Rajiv Govt went in for Bofors after Pakistan acquired WLR's.

They also need to quickly select prime movers for them and Pinaka batteries in double time for additional pending orders which has suffered as the MoD still has to downselect a truck!!

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby K Mehta » 28 Apr 2015 15:24

I feel this is a very small number and also the 100 first then 400 deal does not seem right.

For all these years we have been hearing about lack of artillery and also know the number of hoops this design has been made to undergo. We have lost a year due to use of faulty ammunition. I mean what kind of army uses faulty ammunition for such critical trials.

The number required is supposed to be in thousands and here we are ordering in hundreds? Also has the army factored in the inefficiency of the OFB and tried to get a higher rate of production to offset that?

If the same OFB is working on a higher cal model why not pour in more money in this to speed up the development of that as well?

If anything the MHA should add an order for the BSF allowing higher production rate.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby prahaar » 28 Apr 2015 15:57

Gyan wrote:I think the drawings of Dhanush/Bofors should be released to Pvt sector and versions like towed, mounted, tracked, upgrades etc should be based on Dhanush & awarded om competitive basis.


Can someone in the know explain why the use of Bofors blueprint took so long? I find it unbelievable that technology that was fully paid for was never used. Even Kargil and later operation Parakram did not result in any action. Any source pointing towards this would be very helpful.

Most google searches indicate Gen. VKS kick-started this activity, and could be a reason for getting into a tiff with the corrupt vested interest. Is the story that simple?

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 28 Apr 2015 15:59

100 now and 400 later makes no sense if it cleared all trials unless army is suspicious of ofb build quality and wants to keep options still open!

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Gyan » 28 Apr 2015 16:19

Having multiple designs does not make sense. Give upgrades to PVT Sector. Also built capabilities in PVT sector by sharing Bofors - OFB design & encouraging them to set up second line of production for Mounted & Tracked howitzers

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 28 Apr 2015 16:40

prahaar wrote:
Gyan wrote:I think the drawings of Dhanush/Bofors should be released to Pvt sector and versions like towed, mounted, tracked, upgrades etc should be based on Dhanush & awarded om competitive basis.


Can someone in the know explain why the use of Bofors blueprint took so long? I find it unbelievable that technology that was fully paid for was never used. Even Kargil and later operation Parakram did not result in any action. Any source pointing towards this would be very helpful.

Most google searches indicate Gen. VKS kick-started this activity, and could be a reason for getting into a tiff with the corrupt vested interest. Is the story that simple?


Karan has listed a seminar summary from CLAWS in the DRDO Goof-ups thread which nicely details the origins of the Dhanush from the horse's mouth. It has been a continous process since 2002. Finally the hard work seems to have paid off..

Upgrades in caliber are not as easy for an org which has little tech depth...

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby prahaar » 28 Apr 2015 17:48

vaibhav.n wrote:
Karan has listed a seminar summary from CLAWS in the DRDO Goof-ups thread which nicely details the origins of the Dhanush from the horse's mouth. It has been a continous process since 2002. Finally the hard work seems to have paid off..

Upgrades in caliber are not as easy for an org which has little tech depth...


Thanks I will check it out.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby pragnya » 28 Apr 2015 19:20

copy pasting the portion dealing with the evolution of Dhanush for posterity. there would be some format errors i could not overcome. Karan M posted the link -

http://www.claws.in/images/events/pdf/1 ... il2014.pdf

Changes in Policies to Accelerate Indigenisation: Shri N K Sinha, General
Manager, Gun Carriage Factory


As we all know that the Bofors gun was last supplied to this country in 1989 and
thereafter for historical reasons there could not be any further progress of the
operationalization of the ToT. We had received certain documents, with which we
have now completed the evolution of the gun system in our own country; we have
also upgraded the 39 calibre gun to 45 calibre. In my presentation today I am going
to cover my talk in four stages. The first stage is the process prior to seeking DAC
approval for Ordnance Factory Board to manufacture this gun and what all has gone
to manufacturing this gun system. In the second stage, I would like to spend some
time on the DHANUSH Model that was adopted for this project and so far it has
proved that we are quite successful. In the third stage, I would like to bring forward
the contribution of the users, the partnership between the user, OFB and all other
stakeholders which has contributed in such fast development of the weapon system
and finally, I would like to conclude my presentation with the crucial takeaways from
this project.

As I mentioned, the last gun was supplied to this country in 1989. And
thereafter, there is no further progress on the operationalisation of ToT
agreement. Therefore, Ordnance Factory Board in consultation with the Armed
Forces conducted development of certain crucial spares that may be required
for keeping gun system operational. Way back in 1990 the effort to develop these
spares was initiated. Simultaneously, we also started developing an upgrade on 130
mm gun chassis for 155/45 caliber gun system. Three factories in the Ordnance
Factory Board that is Ordnance Factory at Kanpur, Field Gun Factory, Kanpur and
Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur started development of these. Between 1993 and
1999, three different versions of the upgrade for development were progressed. The
first gun which was developed, with a breech screw similar to the one available on
Bofors. The second one was developed with a sliding breech that was developed by
Ordnance Factory Board designers. And the third, with 45 caliber barrel with sliding
breech screw. The final version of the upgrade was proof fired and all the
parameters were established. This was the first step which laid the foundation for
the development of a 155/45 calibre Dhanush today. But after 1999, there was a lull
and no further work or development in productionising of this particular weapon
system was undertaken. In 2002 once again in a meeting with Chairman as MGO,
the proposal for development of a gun system was discussed. The first proposal was
for upgrade of existing 155/39 gun to 45 caliber gun and the Ordnance Factory
Board during that presentation made a pitch for development of this gun. It was also
proposed that we upgrade one of the guns electronic systems and electronic
sighting. This proposal was accepted by Army Headquarters. OFB then started with
these projects as an R & D project. Internal R &D project office of Ordnance Factory
Board was chosen and a barrel design was finalized by OFB engineers, which was
shared with CQA (Metallurgy) for validation and inspection coverage. At this stage
one of the international suppliers, SAGEM offered an INS to be mounted on this gun
system. It was accessed that a upgrade of 45 calibre which generate the kind of
forces which will not be possible to be absorbed by the muzzle brake provided on the
Bofors gun. So therefore it was necessary that a muzzle brake be subsequently
designed and also the integrated on this barrel with the breech ring, which also had
to be developed. With these design issues in mind, specific Design Review
Committee was formed. Chairman of the Upgradation Committee was GM, GCF and
that was the beginning of design effort for a new barrel, new muzzle brake and
integration. Three Product Development Committees were formed, one each for
breech and breech mechanism, carriage and muzzle brake with the involvement of
stakeholders such as DGQA, OFB and DRDO.

Between 2004 and 2005, we developed the barrel of 155/45 and it was test fired in
September in 2004 at PXE, Balasore. The 1st strength proof for 155x45 calibre barrel
was done in Jan 2005 was supervised by representatives from SQA (Weapons),
SQAE(Ammunition) and GCF. This particular ordnance had a muzzle brake which
was newly designed Vaned Slot Muzzle Brake. The result of the firing was very
fulfilling, satisfactory while length and maximum pressure was quite satisfactory and
could be adopted. However, during different stages of design evolution, concerns
was expressed about these muzzle brake. After detailed analysis of various
parameters of barrel performance it was concluded that this particular muzzle brake
may not work, it has to be changed and a modified double baffle brake modified
muzzle brake was considered to be a suitable option. The evaluation constituted
many firings including comparative firing between L/39 and L/45 barrels, the carriage
though at that stage was the same. The modified double baffle muzzle brake was
designed and trials were conducted and it was found that the maximum pressure of
buffer and recoil length were observed to be well within limits of original ordnance
139/45 gun system. And therefore this design was found to be acceptable. The
efficiency which was available in the original muzzle brake of Bofors was 33% was
further improved up to 53% in the case of double baffle muzzle break and as a result
of that the forces on the gun structure was substantially reduced and there was no
significant change required in the gun system.

Simultaneously we also developed and integrated an electronic suite completely with
gun system. This electronic suite was again supplied by Bharat Electronics Limited
and we had been able to integrate that with the gun and we fired electronically
upgraded gun system at Balasore. Both the firings were successful. After the
success of these initial firing, range and accuracy firing also was done at PFFR.
I will now bring out certain comparative characteristics of these two guns. The Bofors
39 and Dhanush. The barrel length increased almost by one meter and the weight of
the barrel increased by 200 kgs approximately. The ordnance weight similarly
increased by 200 kgs. The chamber capacity, that was one significant design
increased frem 19 to 23 litres. Maximum range consequently increased to 39 kms
and the muzzle velocity increased marginally. Auto frettage of the barrel which was
done at Gun Factory Kanpur was increased to 675 mpi. The type of ammunition that
could be used in the upgraded gun system included almost all varieties. The upgrade
was also made compatible for taking BMCS ammunition of highest charge. After the
firing in 2008, where all parameters of the newly developed gun system were
validated, i.e., after three years of successful first test firing of the gun, in 2011
Defence Acquisition Council accorded AoN for 155 mm x 45 Cal Gun System for
procurement from OFB.

The Dhanush Model : I would like to share the experience of recent Dhanush
performance in sub zero temperatures in Sikkim which implies that it is satisfactorily
working in the extreme climatic conditions and performing admirably. Dhanush
today has 23 major assemblies and 874 sub-assemblies, 80% of which have
been indigenized. The system has 3430 manufactured items/sub-systems
which have been mostly manufactured in house by OFB and about 4902
bought out items, which are being looked at for indigenisation.

Evolution of Dhanush, started out from upgrades done in the 2008 to another
upgrade in January 2012 155 mm FH Electronics and 155 mm FH Project
DhanushOFB Prototype -1 in Dec 2012. Finally, in 2013-14 OFB Prototypes -
3,4,5 and 6 were developed. Step by step development of Dhanush was
undertaken which meant that the major sub-assemblies were manufactured
separately in stages. We changed the indigenous components, one by one and
proof fired them to establish the correctness of the manufacturing process.
To this end before we took two guns from Army. The first one was upgraded with the
45 calibre barrel and the complimentary components. The second one was
upgraded electronically and both these gun successfully proof fired at Balasore. The
success of these two gun systems helped us in taking the next step forward. At this
stage we were to decide whether to go in for 45 or 39 calibre gun systems. But
seeing the success of the upgraded 45 calibre gun, it was then concluded that we
should further proceed on the same path by developing 45 calibre gun systems only.
Both these guns developed had 45 to 65% of indigenisation components at
that stage. Both these were test fired at Balasore and proved to be quite
satisfactory. In January 2013 we had a demonstration firing of these weapons at
Pokhran. Many of the senior officers of the Army witnessed the performance of these
guns. From January 2013 to end of the year, OFB carried out several firings in
different locations in the country. The prototype number three was manufactured in
April and successfully test fired at Pokhran. The fourth gun was subsequently
manufactured and taken for user trials, which is where as many of us know the
unfortunate incident took place. As a result, detailed analysis was again conducted
and the barrel and structural designs revisited, which clarified that there was no
deficiencies in the gun system. The fifth prototype was developed after two months
and recently trial evaluated in Sikkim.

Associations and Stakeholders: The project was progressed by the active
involvement and commitment of all stakeholders. Indian Army as Users provided
support, monitoring and coordination. DRDO was responsible for design support,
DGQA for proof testing and validation, SAIL as suppliers of micro alloy steel plates,
506 ABW as partners in development and maintenance and BEL supported the
Electrical & Electronic Modules for the sighting system and electronic suite.
Associations and contributions of the different organisations within OFB as well as
other DPSUs and private sector in the development and manufacture of Dhanush
gun systems have been noteworthy, particularly for laser cutting, fabrication,
machining, integration & assembly of Dhanush prototype by GCF, Wheels by
Wheels India, MRF, DLSI, Braking system by WABCO, Hydraulic systems by
DANTAL, Power plant by DLSI, Investment castings by OFM, Heavy steel castings
by OFM, Micro alloy steel plates by SAIL, metal and forging by MSF, Ordnance by
OFC/FGK, Electronic suite and electrical by BEL, Wheel base assembly by MTPF,
Structural items by Punj Lloyd.

Major sub-assemblies indigenized in India are chassis manufactured by GCF,
Jabalpur from the micro alloy steel plates which were supplied by SAIL. The
outcome of the indigenasation is primarily in hydraulics which has indigenised from
20% to 100%, pneumatics from Zero to 100 % and Electrical/ Electronics from 46
sub assemblies to 112 sub assemblies.

Development Milestones: The milestones ranged from the mechanical upgrades
of in-service 39 to 45 calibre which was proof fired within four months, mechanical
and electronic upgrades of L/39 to L/45 gun which were validated for trials within
nine months. Building of the 1st and 2nd prototypes, conduct of several validation
firings within 15 months and finally, development of the 3rd prototype, PQSR trials
were done in 17 months. Now, three more prototypes manufactured and user trials
are in progress. Role/involvement of user in the development and manufacture
of Dhanush is a project monitoring model at four levels; Multi-Tiered Special
Project Management Group located at IHQ and GCF which is the Apex Board,
next is Weapon Design & Development Steering Committee followed by
Weapon Design & Development Committee and Weapon Design &
Development team and, finally Weapon Development & Execution Team
(WDET).

Charter for WDET: WDET worked as a single point referral and coordination agency with user for efficient execution and time bound activity including
anticipatory, actions by users, designers and manufacturing agencies. Weekly
monitoring of production and development of outsourced components and conduct
and coordinate testing/evaluation also was a part of their charter and, finally,
implementation of user, feedback into redesign/upgrading of components.
Conceptualization in maintenance/repair schedule and lifetime spare.

Role/Involvement of EME: 506 Army Base Workshops were permanent members
in WDET and part of the initial training to core team on gun assembly, testing of
hydraulic and gun systems, maintenance cover during trials and support in
indigenisation of sub assy.

Role/Involvement of DGQA & DRDO: DGQA provided support in proof testing,
proactive participation in development and design validation while DRDO was
involved in the areas of design validation, range tables and technical/design support.
The crucial takeaways from the project are the synergy between user, designer
and manufacturer, single window user interface, need for compressing trial
and evaluation times, flexible procurement provisions, and access to
specialized design validation and testing agencies.

titash
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby titash » 28 Apr 2015 21:48

Singha wrote:100 now and 400 later makes no sense if it cleared all trials unless army is suspicious of ofb build quality and wants to keep options still open!


Quoting pragnya below:

"To this end before we took two guns from Army. The first one was upgraded with the
45 calibre barrel and the complimentary components. The second one was
upgraded electronically and both these gun successfully proof fired at Balasore. The
success of these two gun systems helped us in taking the next step forward. At this
stage we were to decide whether to go in for 45 or 39 calibre gun systems. But
seeing the success of the upgraded 45 calibre gun, it was then concluded that we
should further proceed on the same path by developing 45 calibre gun systems only.
Both these guns developed had 45 to 65% of indigenisation components at
that stage."

It appears the Dhanush is an upgrade of the existing 155/39 Bofors guns to 155/45...since we bought only 400 odd guns, the Dhanush orders are only ~ 400

putnanja
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby putnanja » 28 Apr 2015 22:07

titash wrote:
Singha wrote:100 now and 400 later makes no sense if it cleared all trials unless army is suspicious of ofb build quality and wants to keep options still open!


Quoting pragnya below:

"To this end before we took two guns from Army. The first one was upgraded with the
45 calibre barrel and the complimentary components. The second one was
upgraded electronically and both these gun successfully proof fired at Balasore. The
success of these two gun systems helped us in taking the next step forward. At this
stage we were to decide whether to go in for 45 or 39 calibre gun systems. But
seeing the success of the upgraded 45 calibre gun, it was then concluded that we
should further proceed on the same path by developing 45 calibre gun systems only.
Both these guns developed had 45 to 65% of indigenisation components at
that stage."

It appears the Dhanush is an upgrade of the existing 155/39 Bofors guns to 155/45...since we bought only 400 odd guns, the Dhanush orders are only ~ 400


You are reading it wrong. They tested out individual components(barrel etc) on existing Bofors gun from Army first to see how they work. Later on they built the full prototype. It is NOT a upgrade of existing bofors, but new guns that will be built. So they can order any numbers that they want

Karan M
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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Karan M » 28 Apr 2015 22:50

Guys read the entire report - its worth that.

PS credit for the file/s goes to dinesh_kumar and putnanja

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby VinodTK » 28 Apr 2015 23:10

Is India Finally Getting Modern Artillery?
Yesterday, New Delhi announced that it has successfully tested an upgraded howitzer for use in the Indian Army. “The indigenously designed and manufactured 155mm x 45mm caliber artillery gun, Dhanush, has successfully met all technical parameters during the winter and summer trials,” a press release said.

This announcement came somewhat as a surprise since Dhanush howitzer prototypes suffered repeated barrel bursts during firing trials last August and during the winter of 2013, after which India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) had to change the metallurgy of the canon.

India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar noted that the Dhanush incorporates many improved features in comparison to the guns which the Army possesses at present. The Dhanush is an improved version of the FH-77B 155 mm/39-caliber towed howitzer manufactured by the Swedish defense contractor Bofors (now BAE Systems) and of which India acquired 410 between 1987 and 1991.

The major upgrade of the howitzer is a larger caliber, 45mm compared to 39mm. Additionally, the Dhanush has a new maximum effective range of 38 km in salvo mode compared to the 39-calibre, 27-km range of the original guns, according to local media reports. The howitzer is capable of firing eight rounds per minutes and needs a crew of six to eight artillerymen.

The Economic Times notes that OFB and Indian Army officials are “quite excited” over the improved howitzer, which they claim performs “20-25 percent better” than the original Bofors gun with regard to “range, accuracy, consistency, low and high angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot ability.”

The Hindu claims that the howitzer is 80 percent indigenous with only “the APU (auxiliary power unit), electronic dial sights, and [a] few other small items being imported.” However, the modernization of the weapon system is still based on schematics supplied by Bofors/BAE Systems under a technology transfer agreement in the 1980s.

The Indian Army has already ordered 114 howitzers, which, given the successful trials, should enter mass production momentarily at the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh in central India. The Times of India reports that the army is readying itself for the induction of the first battery of six Dhanush guns this year. The army expects to receive a total number of 414 howitzers.

The initial procurement of the Bofors howitzers in the 1980s was steeped in controversy and led to India’s most infamous arms purchase scandal in recent history, which torpedoed all artillery modernization plans. As a consequence, no new artillery has been purchased by the Indian Army ever since, while various other tenders (e.g., for 180 pieces of 155mm/52-caliber wheeled self-propelled guns) also had to be cancelled due to various allegations of corruption.

“India’s two towed howitzer competitions, and its two self-propelled artillery procurements, have mostly served as cautionary tales. If the stakes weren’t so high, they’d qualify as farce,” Defense Industry Daily said back in November 2014, summarizing India’s recent botched artillery procurement history.

It still remains unclear whether the Dhanush gun genuinely fulfills all service requirements, according to Defense News. However, “[t]he Army is desperate to acquire the weapon as it has not been able to buy a single howitzer since 1987, despite a 1999 long-term plan to convert all existing artillery guns to 155mm/52 caliber at a cost of more than $6 billion,” Defense News emphasizes.

The Indian army’s 1999 Field Artillery Rationalization Plan aimed to acquire 2,800-3,000 155 mm/52-calibre guns of all kinds and 155 mm/39-calibre lightweight howitzers by 2027. At the moment the military has merely around 200 guns in service, despite the known utility of artillery as illustrated by the 1999 Kargil War.


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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby hanumadu » 29 Apr 2015 05:13

Now that orders are confirmed, the technology for Dhanush could be auctioned to two private defence manufacturing companies so there is competition. The team that developed the Dhanush could be split up into two and given to the winning bidders. That way they will have a steady revenue stream along with a research team for further development. Perhaps, its not that simple, but we must kick start defence privatization at some point.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 29 Apr 2015 08:08

with a planned holding of 3000 155mm guns , I do not see a religious need to produce the same design. any other design like the GC45 will also work fine.
we do not want to spend 5 yrs working out how tech will be shared between OFB and another pvt party, with OFB trying tooth and nail to reduce the number being outsourced.

there is no doubt the fh77b was a brilliant design and is still a sound design today but the gc45 design was not slouch either and went on into the famous G5 family.

we can live with two tomcats in the tent.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby hanumadu » 29 Apr 2015 08:33

^^There will no orders for OFB, just the private companies. Transfer the design and the key R&D personnel so further development can continue. The process of acquiring other kinds of guns will continue as usual with all interested companies in the fray.

All technologies that were developed by the govt. research agencies that have assured orders and are profitable should slowly be transferred to private entities along with the key personnel.

Another and slower approach could be DRDO research taking a back seat where ever private companies are competent and slowly limiting its own involvement to a few key areas.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby pragnya » 29 Apr 2015 09:31

hanumadu wrote:^^There will no orders for OFB, just the private companies. Transfer the design and the key R&D personnel so further development can continue. The process of acquiring other kinds of guns will continue as usual with all interested companies in the fray.


transfer the key R&D personnel from OFB to the pvt company!!! what will OFB do there after when they are planning 52 cal dhanush? create new bunch of 'key' R&D personnel who will scratch their heads, twiddle their thumbs before they figure out the existing status and then plan the future? all this time time zipping past...

R&D to design to productionisation is long and torturous journey. just read the Dhanush history posted few posts above. retaining talent is vital for any organistaion pvt or public to grow and you are asking the 'key' people to be gifted away to the another organisation!!

OFB is a production agency and it is 'revealing' they took up the R&D challenge for a change, did lot of hadwork in close coordination with users and others both pvt/public and proved themselves. between building prototypes, doing trials, fixing issues they may have learnt many things esp wrt production which would be hard for a non participant and so they have a head start when it comes to prod. considering the order is 100 odd now and about 300 later, i am not sure if a pvt company will make a huge investment in terms of capital cost/assembly line/jigs/tools/training personnel/qc etc..(note - OFB already has the infra to productionise without all this) besides the delay/cost etc..

unless the order is much bigger and the timeline of prod does not suit the requirement, this won't happen IMO.

All technologies that were developed by the govt. research agencies that have assured orders and are profitable should slowly be transferred to private entities along with the key personnel.


DRDO has been involving the pvt sector for a long time now. L&T, Godrej, Tatas along with many other smaller SMEs have been part of many ventures. even the DRDO howitzer, there is big pvt setor involvement.

as to the bolded, if you transfer 'key' personnel how do you expect DRDO or any agency to R&D a new project, trial it and pass it on to the Pvt or Public for prod?

Another and slower approach could be DRDO research taking a back seat where ever private companies are competent and slowly limiting its own involvement to a few key areas.


per ex chief of DRDO is open to PVT sector taking R&D challenges too but the pvt sector has been loathe to R&D as it involves massive infusion of funds, long gestation, failures etc.. they simply have no appetite for that. they are happy to be prod agencies provided numbers are committed to make it profitable - which by itself is not a bad idea IMO. remenber AVRO programme? none came forward for a 56 number order.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 29 Apr 2015 09:33

OFB is the only game in town as production agency for a host of items including anything explosive.
so they are going to produce arty also, whether all of it or some is the only doubt.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Rakesh » 29 Apr 2015 17:09

Apologies if this has been posted before. A video on the Dhanush Gun.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw9O_xtG8Po

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby pankajs » 29 Apr 2015 17:41

VinodTK wrote:Is India Finally Getting Modern Artillery?
[quote>>]This announcement came somewhat as a surprise since Dhanush howitzer prototypes suffered repeated barrel bursts during firing trials last August and during the winter of 2013, after which India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) had to change the metallurgy of the canon.[<</quote]
If someone wants to show the author some love ....

As per the latest reports
1. There was one failure and not repeated failures.
2. Not relate to the barrel but to the ammo.
3. If the barrel had no issue why would the metallurgy be changed? Of course I cannot prove it otherwise.

By emphasizing the barrel bursts while omitting the actual cause folks are trying to discredit the gun. With the Indian Army backing the gun it will gain credibility and has export potential.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 29 Apr 2015 22:09

The Dhanush future upgrade to a 52cal could be more easier than anticipated....

The 45cal Dhanush already sports a NATO standard 23 Litre chamber. Thus, with minimal course correction OFB could technically churn out the larger calibre gun in a much shorter a time span.

Also by the JSF style faarmulah...if ordered for like the entire 1600 odd units price should drop considerably...The last thing we need is to fall for ARDE Super X-Gun 60Km range mumbo jumbo.....

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Karan M » 29 Apr 2015 22:27

The ARDE gun is already in prototyping. It would be singularly unwise to stop it based on prior history where AHQ tends to ask for the latest and best after endless trials of basic stuff.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby RoyG » 29 Apr 2015 22:40

We have a requirement for guns NOW.

Dhanush needs a massive order. It's better than anything we currently have and can be made mostly in house.

We shouldn't just keep phasing out gun induction because of a new standard.

Orders should be made in bulk and the product should evolve in batches.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby dinesh_kimar » 29 Apr 2015 22:55

OFB Magazine "Ayudh" link has good pic of Ghatak / various Arty items built in OF Kanpur. Strictly for the Arty buffs....
http://ofbindia.gov.in/download/pr/december2014.pdf

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby srai » 30 Apr 2015 05:14

From the Dhanush article, one can imply that remaining 155mm 39 caliber Bofors (200 odd units) would also be upgraded to the new 155mm 45 caliber standard. This would be on top of new orders (total of around 400 guns).

When OFB Bofors 155mm 52 caliber initiative bears fruit (another decade or so), Dhanush could be upgraded to that standard.

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Singha » 30 Apr 2015 06:13

Karan M wrote:The ARDE gun is already in prototyping. It would be singularly unwise to stop it based on prior history where AHQ tends to ask for the latest and best after endless trials of basic stuff.


Yes all such projects need to be funded. Do not have all eggs in one basket

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Re: Artillery Discussion Thread

Postby Thakur_B » 30 Apr 2015 06:54

As per Saurav Jha OFB is already developing a 52 caliber Dhanush.


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