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Current Affairs 8 April 2019 Digest 4: Indian Army gets first batch of Dhanush artillery guns; Army to test AK-203 in carbine role

The Indian Army is planning to use a modified version of the AK-203 assault rifle in carbine role for its troops deployed during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Apr 8, 2019 17:32 IST
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Indian Army gets first batch of Dhanush artillery guns

Story 1- Indian Army gets first batch of Dhanush artillery guns

The Indian Army on April 8, 2019 received its first batch of Dhanush artillery guns a formal function organised at GCF, Jabalpur. The gun, which has a calibre of 155x45mm, is the first ever indigenous artillery gun of this calibre.

The Dhanush gun system is based on Bofors acquired in the 1980s and whose purchase was mired in controversy because of alleged corruption. The gun system is expected to significantly enhance the Army's firepower.

Key Highlights

The Dhanush with a calibre of 155x45mm is classified as 'medium artillery'. The medium regiments of the Indian army’s artillery arm consist of guns of this calibre and of 130mm calibre.

The Bofors, which had played a crucial role in targeting Pakistani military positions during the 1999 Kargil War and has similar a 155mm caliber, is part of such regiments.

Dhanush is a new generation towed artillery gun with major upgraded features over the existing 155/39 cal. FH 77 B02 gun.

The gun system will be deployed along India’s borders with Pakistan and China.  It can be employed in all types of terrains.

Significance

The Dhanush gun system has emerged as a reliable and robust gun system at par with the world’s latest artillery systems.

The induction is being hailed as a key milestone as this is the first long range piece of artillery to be produced in India. It is expected to increase the fire power of the Indian artillery manifold.

Background

Dhanush has been designed and developed by the Ordnance Factory Board at the Gun Carriage Factory at Jabalpur based on the Bofors drawings.

The OFB had received the bulk production clearance of manufacturing of 114 guns on February 18, among which six have been handed over for issuance to the Indian Army.

Previously, the Swedish had Bofors proved its worth during the Kargil war when the gun performed exceedingly well in high altitude warfare and was considered to be a key contributor in the success of the Indian Army.

Story 2- Indian Army to test AK-203 in carbine role

The Indian Army is planning to use a modified version of the AK-203 assault rifle in carbine role for its troops deployed during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The AK-203 assault rifle would be manufactured at Uttar Pradesh's Amethi facility in a joint venture between the Ordnance Factory Board and Russia.

AK-203: Key Highlights

The assault rifle would be provided to troops for carrying out anti-terrorist operations. A separate tender is being floated to buy 93,000 carbines under fast track procedure.

The Indian army is looking to try out the AK-203 in the carbine role. According to the army, more modifications can be done in the AK-203 to suit the carbine role requirement.

The carbines are useful in close quarter combat and can be highly effective during operations like room interventions.

Hence, efforts are under process to acquire 93,000 carbines and the Defence Ministry has formed an oversight committee to look into the case.

A senior Lieutenant General-rank officer has been appointed as the member of the committee including other members from the Defence Ministry and the DRDO.

The Defence Ministry is expected to take a call once the oversight committee submits its report.

Background

The Central government has already finalised contracts for buying two types of modern assault rifles for the Army.

The government is also thinking to meet the requirement of carbines through foreign vendors initially and then through 'Make in India' programme under which more than three lakh carbines would be manufactured at an Indian facility.