April 23, 2017
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Long wait
Delay in artillery modernization process

A rapid deceleration in obsolescence in the Indian Army artillery arsenal appears to be possible by the simultaneous creation of two indigenous 155mm howitzers one in the Ordnance Factory, Jabalpur (MP), and the other in Tata’s stable of emerging defence-related equipment laboratories.

Having wasted three-and-a-half decades by prevaricating over converting the drawings of the Bofors howitzer, the Ministry of Defence two years back asked the Ordnance Factories Board to dust out the parchment and create indigenous prototypes on which production can be initiated. The Ordnance Factories Board used the facilities still available from the now defunct Gun Development Team which created the 105 mm Indian Field Gun to recreate the Bofors model 39 calibre weapon to 45 calibre (length of barrel being 155mm X 45 =6.97 meter) standard.

Trials are underway to test the range and sequence firing capabilities of the new weapon. By all expectations it should replicate what the original Bofors guns did in Kargil in 1999 and that, by itself, will ensure that the 36
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