After trials, India's indigenous artillery gun 'Dhanush' would be ready for use by the Army by the end of this year.
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) chairman M C Bansal today said the winter trials of the 'desi' howitzers were successfully completed in Sikkim and after the summer trials to be held in the deserts of Rajasthan in the next few months, it would be ready for use.
"We will add another laurel to the country by producing them with indigenous technology," he said.
After the extensive trials, 'Dhanush' would be produced in bulk in the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur and the Army has placed an initial order of 114 such guns.
An improved and indigenous version of the Swedish Bofors, 'Dhanush' is a 155mm and 45 calibre gun. While the original Bofors gun has a maximum effective range of 27 km, 'Dhanush' can fire a salvo up to 38 km in the plains.
With the Defence Ministry focusing on indigenous technology, OFB had also decided to increase production capacity for making 5000 rockets for the Pinaka multi-barrel weapons system.
"Our capacity expansion programme is underway," Bansal said, adding that production capabilities for T-90 and T-72 tanks, engines for armoured vehicles to meet the requirements of the Army were being augmented.
The Kolkata-based OFB, which makes arms, ammunition and equipment for military and civilian use at 41 factories in the country, was on a massive modernisation and product upgrade programme investing Rs 11,000 crore in the 12th Plan period.
Stating that core competency of OFB was in ammunition, Bansal said making hardware as per the needs of the armed forces was being looked into.
An Ordnance Factory Project was underway at Nalanda for bi-modular charges while the Korwa project would manufacture carbines.
Officials said OFB would be taking up new products such as new generation assault rifles, CQB carbine, 155/52 artillery guns, 155/52 mounted gun system, Smerch rockets, grad rockets, successor to L-70 AD gun, very short-range air defence missile and latest generation ammunition for 84 mm rocket launcher through technology transfer.
Asked about exports, the OFB chairman said products worth Rs 50 crore were sold to buyers outside the country for visibility at the global level.