Covid outbreak has hit the supply of Dhanush 155x45mm artillery guns, the Indian version of Bofors, to the army. The weapon systems are being made at the Gun Carriage Factory (GCF), Jabalpur, in MP.
The first batch of six guns was issued from the GCF in April 2019. This year the factory was supposed to supply another six to eight guns. However, no dispatch could happen as the Covid lockdown hampered operations at the factory.
It is learnt four guns are ready for issue after trials, but could not be delivered to the army due to logistics hurdles. Another batch has been built, but the trials could not happen on account of lockdown.
The total supply of the Dhanush guns would still be short of equipping one full artillery regiment this year. Sources said after building the entire gun, each piece has to be proven fit for use after trials. The ranges are in other states and access to the area was not possible due to the lockdown. The ranges are located in two different corners of the country, they said.
After the factory reopened in June, the production process remains slow as workers have to follow Covid prevention standard operating procedure (SOP), a source said.