Indian Army Artillery Systems : News and Updates

Himanshu

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After failing thrice, Indian Bofors clears internal trials

Nagpur: After failing thrice during trials, Dhanush, the Indian 155x45 mm calibre howitzer, based on the Swedish Bofors, has cleared a crucial round of internal tests. It is slated to be sent for further trials with the Army in April.

The howitzer indigenisation was initiated in 2010. In 2013, a shell burst within the barrel during trials with the Army, setting back the process. After this, in 2017, there were two incidents of muzzle hits during similar trials. The shell came out of the barrel, but hit the muzzle brake, a component at the opening. In the same period, one of the pieces of the first batch of M-777 guns purchased from the US too suffered a muzzle hit.

Dhanush is being developed at the Gun Carriage Factory (GCF) Jabalpur. After a series of setbacks, it was decided to undertake thorough internal trials, before putting up the gun for trials with the Army again.

Sources said two guns were tested at Balasore, where the internal trials were held. Nearly 80% of the rounds were fired at full charge. This means the highest power of ammunition was used. This is because muzzle hits normally happen when a shell is fired at full charge.

During the Army trials, firing was done from a full battery, which constitutes of six guns. However, the number of shells fired in the internal trials using two guns were much more than in the trials with the Army, said sources privy to the development.

The tests were conducted smoothly with no incidents reported. Although certain modifications have been made in the guns, the changes are not linked with the muzzle-hit issue, said the sources.

“Aspects like the gun’s compatibility with the ammunition, reliability and sustainability were tested during the Balasore trials. As things have been smooth, a conclusion can be derived that the earlier incidents happened due to fault in the ammunition, not the guns,” said a source. Inquiry is underway into the incidents related to Dhanush as well as M-777.

The GCF has got an order to make 114 Dhanush guns for the Army. Even after the order, tests continued with the guns made in the first batch, during which the misfires took place. Sources say muzzle hit has taken place over 40 times even in the original Bofors purchased from Sweden.


CBI to probe case of supply of Chinese product for Dhanush artillery gun

As per the purchase order, these bearings were to be sourced from M/s CRB, Germany. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the bearings supplied by M/s Sidh Sales Syndicate, Delhi were manufactured by a Chinese firm
 
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Ashwin

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Indigenous artillery gun passes high-altitude winter test in Sikkim

PUNE: The month-long winter trials of the indigenously-developed 155mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) have achieved the desired results, an official from the Defence Research and Development Organisation has said.The weapon system is a joint effort by the DRDO and the private sector.

The trials were conducted by a group of scientists from the city-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and army officers at an elevation of 11,000 feet in Sikkim. “Scientists and soldiers tested the gun in extremely cold conditions. It delivered positive firing results even in -20 degree Celsius,” the DRDO official said. The official said the gun’s mobility, a crucial factor in high-altitude warfare, was favourable too. “All mobility parameters were checked during the trials,” the official said. Last year, the gun’s desert trials were held from August 24 to September 7. Results from these trials were positive too.

The ATAGS has an allelectric drive, which is better than traditional hydraulic drives of other towed guns. The electric drives of the ATAGS allows better control while opening and closing of the breech mechanism and while ramming the next round into the firing chamber.
Sources added that the gun is expected to become a part of the Indian Army by the year 2020.
 
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Shashank

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Indigenous artillery gun passes high-altitude winter test in Sikkim - Times of India

The month-long winter trials of the indigenously-developed 155mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) have achieved the desired results, an official from the Defence Research and Development Organisation has said. The weapon system is a joint effort by the DRDO and the private sector.

The trials were conducted by a group of scientists from the city-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and army officers at an elevation of 11,000 feet in Sikkim. “Scientists and soldiers tested the gun in extremely cold conditions. It delivered positive firing results even in -20 degree Celsius,” the DRDO official said.

The official said the gun’s mobility, a crucial factor in high-altitude warfare, was favourable too. “All mobility parameters were checked during the trials,” the official said. Last year, the gun’s desert trials were held from August 24 to September 7. Results from these trials were positive too.

The ATAGS has an allelectric drive, which is better than traditional hydraulic drives of other towed guns. The electric drives of the ATAGS allows better control while opening and closing of the breech mechanism and while ramming the next round into the firing chamber.

Sources added that the gun is expected to become a part of the Indian Army by the year 2020.
 

Bali78

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Indigenous artillery gun passes high-altitude winter test in Sikkim - Times of India

The month-long winter trials of the indigenously-developed 155mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) have achieved the desired results, an official from the Defence Research and Development Organisation has said. The weapon system is a joint effort by the DRDO and the private sector.

The trials were conducted by a group of scientists from the city-based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and army officers at an elevation of 11,000 feet in Sikkim. “Scientists and soldiers tested the gun in extremely cold conditions. It delivered positive firing results even in -20 degree Celsius,” the DRDO official said.

The official said the gun’s mobility, a crucial factor in high-altitude warfare, was favourable too. “All mobility parameters were checked during the trials,” the official said. Last year, the gun’s desert trials were held from August 24 to September 7. Results from these trials were positive too.

The ATAGS has an allelectric drive, which is better than traditional hydraulic drives of other towed guns. The electric drives of the ATAGS allows better control while opening and closing of the breech mechanism and while ramming the next round into the firing chamber.

Sources added that the gun is expected to become a part of the Indian Army by the year 2020.
Sometime back it was mentioned in an article that the gun is overweight (20 tons) compared to similar guns from other countries(15 tons) and the burst mode is not implemented yet. I am curious whether these two points are correct or just outcome of stupid journalism !!
 
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Himanshu

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OFB upgradation test of 155mm howitzers successful

Ordnance Factories Board is now expecting at least 300 orders for upgrading existing 130mm artillery guns to 155mm from the Indian Army.
By : Rohit KVN

155mm artillery gun in L39, L45 and L52 configurations displayed at an Indian Army showcase eventWiki Commons/ Gopal Aggarwal

State-run Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) has announced to have successfully conducted the 'upgunning' (user evaluation) of 130 mm to 155 howitzers at its Nalanda factory unit in Bihar.

"The cost of a new 155-mm artillery gun comes to around Rs 15 crore, while the upgradation has been done for just Rs one crore for each, thus saving the exchequer a lot of money," PTI quoted
OFB chairman S K Chourasia as saying.

With the successful test, OFB is optimistic about getting at least 300 field gun upgradation orders if not more from Indian Army. OFB is yet to start delivering similar 155mm Dhanush howitzers to Indian Army that were ordered earlier.

Indian Army is awaiting 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Currently, the army is using 130mm field guns and some imported howitzers. If they order from OFB, it will help cut down on the costs. Also, the 155mm field guns will provide soldiers longer target range up to 36km while the former offers only 27km range.

Hari Mohan, OFB member (Weapons, Vehicles, and Equipment), during the media briefing, said the company is collaborating with premier IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) at Mumbai, Kanpur, and Kharagpur for speeding up the upgradation of outdated military equipment and also the development of newer defense weapons.

On a related note, OFB will be showcasing the Dhanush howitzers at DefExpo 2018 and has the potential to attract foreign buyers at the Chennai event next month (April 11-14).

Four Facts About Dhanush Howitzers:
  • Dhanush field gun is designed and manufactured by OFB
  • It houses a barrel, screw-type breech mechanism, muzzle brake, recoil (Electro-rheological/Magneto-rheological) mechanism can fire 155/52 mm caliber ammunition with a firing range of up to 42 km
  • Dhanush howitzers can fire three rounds in 15 seconds in 'Burst mode', while in 'Intense mode', it can shoot 15 rounds in three minutes. In 'Sustained mode', it can fire 60 rounds in 60 minutes
  • Though Dhanush design is rumored to be inspired from Bofors howitzers, the former is said to be 20 to 25 percent better than the latter in terms of range, accuracy, consistency, low and high angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot ability.
 
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Shashank

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OFB upgradation test of 155mm howitzers successful

Ordnance Factories Board is now expecting at least 300 orders for upgrading existing 130mm artillery guns to 155mm from the Indian Army.
By : Rohit KVN

155mm artillery gun in L39, L45 and L52 configurations displayed at an Indian Army showcase eventWiki Commons/ Gopal Aggarwal

State-run Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) has announced to have successfully conducted the 'upgunning' (user evaluation) of 130 mm to 155 howitzers at its Nalanda factory unit in Bihar.

"The cost of a new 155-mm artillery gun comes to around Rs 15 crore, while the upgradation has been done for just Rs one crore for each, thus saving the exchequer a lot of money," PTI quoted
OFB chairman S K Chourasia as saying.

With the successful test, OFB is optimistic about getting at least 300 field gun upgradation orders if not more from Indian Army. OFB is yet to start delivering similar 155mm Dhanush howitzers to Indian Army that were ordered earlier.

Indian Army is awaiting 155mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun (ATAG) system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Currently, the army is using 130mm field guns and some imported howitzers. If they order from OFB, it will help cut down on the costs. Also, the 155mm field guns will provide soldiers longer target range up to 36km while the former offers only 27km range.

Hari Mohan, OFB member (Weapons, Vehicles, and Equipment), during the media briefing, said the company is collaborating with premier IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) at Mumbai, Kanpur, and Kharagpur for speeding up the upgradation of outdated military equipment and also the development of newer defense weapons.

On a related note, OFB will be showcasing the Dhanush howitzers at DefExpo 2018 and has the potential to attract foreign buyers at the Chennai event next month (April 11-14).

Four Facts About Dhanush Howitzers:
  • Dhanush field gun is designed and manufactured by OFB
  • It houses a barrel, screw-type breech mechanism, muzzle brake, recoil (Electro-rheological/Magneto-rheological) mechanism can fire 155/52 mm caliber ammunition with a firing range of up to 42 km
  • Dhanush howitzers can fire three rounds in 15 seconds in 'Burst mode', while in 'Intense mode', it can shoot 15 rounds in three minutes. In 'Sustained mode', it can fire 60 rounds in 60 minutes
  • Though Dhanush design is rumored to be inspired from Bofors howitzers, the former is said to be 20 to 25 percent better than the latter in terms of range, accuracy, consistency, low and high angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot ability.
A very good development . one more step towards made in India Artillery.(y)(y)

Hopefully we will be self reliant in Artillery in coming days and no need to import.
 

Bali78

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A very good development . one more step towards made in India Artillery.(y)(y)

Hopefully we will be self reliant in Artillery in coming days and no need to import.
India should target to build all types of artillery within next 15 years. We are already doing reasonably good in areas of SAMs and cruise missiles. Only major hurdle is MBT. If India can break that barrier, by 2035 our land forces can drastically reduce dependency on imported stuff.
 

vstol Jockey

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A very good development . one more step towards made in India Artillery.(y)(y)

Hopefully we will be self reliant in Artillery in coming days and no need to import.
we were leaders in conventional weapons till 16th century. The mongols killed that knowledge. after that some of the best cannons were manufactured in India. The Mysore Rockets are best known examples of our technological prowess.
 
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Bharath

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we were leaders in conventional weapons till 16th century. The mongols killed that knowledge. after that some of the best cannons were manufactured in India. The Mysore Rockets are best known examples of our technological prowess.

time to move on from the 16th century,
time to move on from blaming the mongols and the british
if we have it in us, we should show it now.
lets get there - slowly and surely.
with people like you building up your skills and people like @Abingdonboy et al
the future is bright.
 
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Shashank

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OFB upgrades 130-mm field guns, eyes order from Army


The Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) today said it had successfully upgraded the 130-mm field guns to 155 mm capability at its Nalanda facility in Bihar and was expecting an order for 300 such guns from the Army.

The Kolkata-headquartered State defence manufacturer had successfully completed the user evaluation of 130/155 mm “upgunning” and was likely to receive orders for the upgradation of 300 artillery guns from the Army, OFB Chairman S K Chourasia said.

“The cost of a new 155-mm artillery gun comes to around Rs 15 crore, while the upgradation has been done for just Rs one crore for each, thus saving the exchequer a lot of money,” he told newspersons here.

The upgradation, involving the changing of the barrel, would mean an increase in the range of the field gun from around 27 kms to 36 kms, an OFB official explained.

Chourasia said the OFB-offered, 100-per cent indigenous solution had emerged successful against private competitors fielding imported equipment from leading global manufacturers in this field.

“We are likely to receive orders for the upgunning of 300 such 130-mm guns to 155-mm ones,” the OFB chairman said.

OFB member (weapons, vehicles and equipment) Hari Mohan said the indigenous technological solution for upgunning the 130-mm field guns was achieved at the organisation’s Nalanda facility and had emerged as the only acceptable offer to the armed forces’ requirements.

Chourasia said research and development was being cultivated at the OFB’s 13 ordnance development centres.

“With the assistance of premier academic institutions like the IITs at Mumbai, Kanpur and Kharagpur, the ordnance factories are not only upgrading the existing products, but also developing new weapon platforms,” he added.

OFB upgrades 130-mm field guns, eyes order from Army
 

Ashwin

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About BMCS:


The BMCS is the ammunition system used in artillery weapons to ignite the shell and push it out of the gun. The 155 mm Howitzer Guns form a crucial part of the Indian Army’s artillery, and these howitzers may use ammunition such as BMCS, M4A2, Charge-8 and Charge-9 for achieving different ranges as per requirement. The Indian Army prefers to use BMCS for most of its requirements.

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) had received the technology to manufacture BMCS from the South African company Somchem. But its parent company Denel was entangled in a corruption scandal, and in April 2005, the company was debarred . Following this, the contract was cancelled.

The OFB had already paid the technology fee to Somchem and the latter had delivered the technology papers to OFB.

Subsequently, the Israeli Military Industry (IMI) was chosen to supply, build and commission the BMCS plant as per the technology documents provided by Denel. But IMI was also blacklisted in March 2012 for 10 years, again because the company was involved in corruption.

The Ordnance Factory at Nalanda, Bihar, had been chosen to implement the technology through global outsourcing of plant and machinery, but the process suffered a setback due to the blacklisting of IMI which was to be the implementation agency.

In spite of the stalemate, the OFB decided to start production of BMCS. The High Energy Material Research Laboratory (HEMRL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was roped in to render assistance wherever required and for “validation of implementation of the chemical formulations at different stages”.

Thus the HEMRL, having accessed full knowledge of the technology from Denel, developed its own variant of BMCS, jointly with the OFB.

But now the HEMRL is now going to “offer the technology to some private vendors in the name of resource/revenue generation”, said the AIDEF.

“It may be noted that at every stage, HEMRL has received material and technological support from O.F. Board units for their propellant related research and experimentation including so-called new variant of BMCS projected by HEMRL.”

The Federation objected to such “clandestine passing on” of “chemical formulation and technological knowledge acquired through years of association with O.F. Board in any repackaged form to private vendors in the name of resource generation”.

The move not only goes against the interests of the OFB, but also constitutes a violation of Intellectual Property Rights of Denel and is a clear breach of the OFB’s trust, said the Federation’s letter. Such “one-sided policy” adopted by the DRDO in the name of internal resource generation shows a misplaced notion of economic viability of Research and Development.

The present policy on technology transfer does not cover explosives, and the move to transfer BMCS technology to private vendors is therefore against the scope of the policy, said the letter.

The Federation said that the HEMRL was going to organise an event to facilitate the transfer of technology to private vendors, and the programme was going to be presided over by the Defence Minister or the Minister of State for Defence. The Minister’s presence would effectively grant a seal of approval to the technology transfer, said the letter signed by C Srikumar, General Secretary of the Federation.

However, after the AIDEF shot off the letter, the above-mentioned event subsequently did not take place, Srikumar told Newsclick. The reasons for this were not immediately clear.

The Transfer of Technology to private vendors would amount to taking away of products which the employees of the OFB have struggled to develop.

It has been reported earlier that Solar Industries, a Nagpur-based private company, is set to be the first private sector company to manufacture BMCS. In January 2017, the CFO of Solar Industries was quoted as saying that the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Maharashtra to install facilities to produce BMCS.

The Federation appealed to the Defence Minister to halt the “controversial and illegal Transfer of Technology to private parties” at the cost of the OFB employees.