Dhanush howitzer

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Type Towed howitzer
Place of origin India
Service history
In service India
Used by Indian Army
Production history
Designer Ordnance Factories Board
Designed 2010-2013
Manufacturer Ordnance Factories Board
Unit cost US$ 2.11 million (Rs 14 crore)[1]
Produced 2015 onwards
No. built 6 (2015) / 114 (by 2020)[2]
Length 45 Caliber
Crew 6-8

Caliber 155 mm
Breech Screw type
Recoil Electro-rheological/Magneto-rheological
Elevation -3 to 70 degree
Traverse +/-25
Rate of fire Burst:3 rounds in 15sec Intense: 15 rounds in 3 minutes Sustained: 60 rounds in 60 min
Maximum firing range 38[3] Km[4]
Sights Thermal sight. Gunners display

The Dhanush is a 155 mm towed howitzer used by the Indian Army. The design is based on Bofors, now Haubits FH77 which India acquired in the 1980s. The gun as of June 2016 has entered into active production with confirmed order of 414 guns.[5]


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 gun 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. This is an unattributed reverse-engineered version of the Bofors design. 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]

DRDO 155 mm artillery gun or Version 2 of the Dhanush is under development. It will upgrade the current 155 mm/45 caliber to 155 mm/52 caliber. Dhanush v2 larger calibre ordnance will increase the strike range by 4 km to 42 km.[2]

Three Dhanush guns have been handed over to the Indian Army for user trials on July 2016.[7]

Battery trials expected to finish in July 2017. Plan is then to induct 18 Guns in 2017, 36 Guns in 2018 and 60 Guns in 2019; completing the order for 114 guns for Indian Army.[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 is being considered to solve the issue.[9][10] The investigation revealed the incident happened due to 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]


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 can do 30 km/h cross country speed and 80 km/h road speed.[13]


See also[edit]

DRDO 155 mm artillery gun

Haubits FH77