The much anticipated large-scale induction of the Dhanush artillery guns, also known as ‘Desi Bofors’, has been hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as production quality concerns flagged by the Army, ThePrint has learnt.
Since April 2019, when the induction started, only 12 of the indigenously built long-range artillery guns have been delivered. This is far below the 18 guns required to make a full regiment.
Incidentally, the first six guns were delivered in April 2019 itself and more of the 155mm x 45mm Dhanush were to be produced subsequently. The delay meant that the first regiment of Dhanush, which was to be raised by the end of 2019, had not been completed by then and the date was later pushed to March 2020.
Furthermore, while the Army is satisfied with the guns in terms of fire power and mobility, it has flagged multiple concerns regarding the production quality. Dhanush is being manufactured by the Gun Carriage Factory (CGF) in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur, which comes under the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
“The production system has still not stabilised. After integrated firing checks, issues have cropped with regard to the hydraulics, sight and even mounting in some cases,” a source told ThePrint.
Sources further noted that the Army is awaiting the production system to stabilise so that a larger number of guns, which is an advanced variant of the Bofors, can be inducted.