Army gets upgraded 155mm artillery gun at Defexpo

Visitors click pictures as they watch a tank-drill performed by Army during the ongoing 11th Defence Expo 2020, in Lucknow on February 7, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on Friday handed over Sharang, the first 130mm M-46 artillery gun upgraded to 155mm to the Indian Army. It was formally handed over by OFB Chairman Hari Mohan to Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane at the ongoing Defexpo.

There was a major exhibition of heavy artillery guns, both under induction by the Army and being developed by industry, at the Defexpo.

“Sharang is the 130mm artillery gun ‘up-gunned’ to 155mm, 45 calibre up-gunning based on the Army’s tender,” an OFB official said. The Army had issued the Request For Proposal (RFP) in 2013 for both OFB and private industry.

“It was competitive bidding and OFB solution was the only one qualified during field evaluation trials,” the official said, adding that it was a low cost solution. The contract, worth ₹200 crore, was signed in October 2018.

The gun’s range has now gone from 27km to over 36km with the upgrade. It also has more explosive capability and hence and more damage potential, the official stated. In all, OFB will upgrade 300 130mm guns to 155mm and the contract will be completed in four years.

This step will reduce the logistic trail of the Army as it does away with the need to carry 130mm shells and support equipment as the mainstay of the Army’s long range artillery is 155mm guns. As part of the development and validation, OFB had ‘upgunned’ six guns for testing. An artillery regiment of the Army consists of 18 guns.

After close to three decades, the Army inducted its first modern artillery guns system in November 2018. These include M-777 Ultra Light Howitzers (ULH) from the U.S. and K9 Vajra-T self-propelled artillery guns from South Korea. The Army has the older, battle-proven Bofors 155mm guns in service. The 155mm Dhanush towed gun system, developed based on the Bofors guns by OFB, is under induction.

In addition, the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), a 155mm, 52 calibre gun, being jointly developed by the DRDO in partnership with Bharat Forge of Kalyani Group and Tata Power SED, is in advanced stages of testing.

In October last year, the Army procured and inducted 155mm Excalibur precision guided ammunition from the U.S. which gives its 155mm artillery guns extended range and also the ability to hit targets with very high accuracy.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 2:39:02 AM |

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