Dhanush (howitzer)

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TypeTowed howitzer
Place of originIndia
Service history
In serviceIndia
Used byIndian Army
Production history
DesignerOrdnance Factories Board
ManufacturerOrdnance Factories Board
Unit costUS$ 2.11 million (₹ 14 crore)[1]
Produced2015 onwards
No. built6[2]
Length45 Caliber

Caliber155 mm
ActionAuto gun alignment and positioning
BreechScrew type
Elevation-3 to 70 degree
Rate of fireBurst:3 rounds in 15sec Intense: 15 rounds in 3 minutes Sustained: 60 rounds in 60 min
Maximum firing range38[4] Km[5]
SightsThermal sight. Gunners display

The Dhanush is a 155 mm towed howitzer used by the Indian Army. The design is based on the Bofors Haubits FH77 which India acquired in the 1980s. The gun completed development trials in 2018 and was approved for series production in 2019. Indian Army has ordered 114 guns and the total order size could increase to 414 guns.[2]


The Dhanush project was started by OFB to replace the older 105 mm Indian Field Gun, 105 mm Light Field Gun and the Russian 122 mm guns with a modern 155mm artillery gun.

The initial indigenous development of artillery guns in India started in the 1970s with the Artillery Gun Development Team under Brigadier Gurdyal Singh at Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur. This resulted in the introduction of 105mm artillery guns into the Indian Army. Later the corruption scandal surrounding the purchase of Bofors resulted in no indigenous artillery guns being procured for the Indian Army. The purchase of Bofors guns in the 1980s included the technology transfer to OFB. After many years being unable to acquire or import foreign artillery guns due to corruption charges, OFB developed the Dhanush gun. In trials it came out better by 20 to 25 percent than the Bofors in parameters like range, accuracy, consistency, low and high angle of fire and shoot-and-scoot ability.[6]

Three Dhanush guns were handed over to the Indian Army for user trials on July 2016.[7] Battery trials were expected to be completed by July 2017 with 18 guns entering service in 2017, 36 guns in 2018 and 60 guns in 2019, for an Indian Army order of 114 guns.[8]

It was reported in July 2017 that the howitzer failed the last phase of testing, due to the shell hitting the muzzle brake. A redesign of the barrel by widening it was being considered to solve the issue.[9][10] Later an investigation revealed the incident happened due to a defective shell. Further trials were conducted by firing about 5000 shells in the desert regions and icy glaciers of the Himalayas without any incident. The gun is planned to enter service in four to five months.[11] In June 2018, Dhanush completed final development trials.[12] In February 2019, it was approved for series production.[13]

The gun was officially inducted in army on 8th April 2019.[14]


A vehicle mounted variant of the gun called Mounted Gun System was showcased by OFB at the Defexpo 2018 show. The gun is mounted on a 8x8 Tatra truck license manufactured by BEML and has a 30 km/h cross country speed and 80 km/h road speed.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Indian Army to induct indigenous artillery gun Dhanush, first since the Bofors scandal
  2. ^ a b c "Finally, Army To Get Its Dhanush | Swarajya". Swarajyamag.com. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ Bedi, Rahul (9 April 2019). "Indian Army receives first six of 114 Dhanush howitzers". Jane's Defence Weekly. Jane's Information Group. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019.
  4. ^ N C Bipindra (21 June 2014). "'Dhanush' Ready after Final Trials in Pokhran". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  5. ^ Indian artillery guns make a splash at DefExpo
  6. ^ "Desi Bofors howitzer undergoes final trials in major boost to indigenization". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Gun Carriage Factory hands over 3 'Dhanush' guns to Army". The Hindu. 17 July 2016. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Army to Induct 18 Dhanush Artillery Guns This Year,". The Hindu. 2 June 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  9. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/desi-howitzer-fails-last-phase-of-tests/articleshow/59691394.cms
  10. ^ http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/desi-howitzer-fails-last-phase-of-tests/articleshow/59694586.cms
  11. ^ "Shots on target, finally". The Week. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Dhanush artillery gun clears final test, ready for induction: Official". The Economic Times. The Times Group. Press Trust of India. 8 June 2018.
  13. ^ Bedi, Rahul (19 February 2019). "Indian MoD approves local production of 114 Dhanush howitzers". Jane's Defence Weekly. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019.
  14. ^ https://www.rediff.com/news/report/army-inducts-home-made-dhanush-howitzer/20190408.htm
  15. ^ "Defexpo 2018: OFB showcases 155 mm/52 calibre Mounted Gun System | Jane's 360". www.janes.com. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Army gets desi Bofors in home made Dhanush howitzer". The Hindu.