Ordnance Factories Board (OFB), an industrial organisation functioning under India’s Department of Defence, has received an order for upgrading over 300 field guns for the Indian Army, after it successfully completed the user evaluation of 130/155 mm "upgunning".
“We successfully ‘upgunned’ the old 130mm Russian field guns to 155mm and bagged the Army’s order. The Army has already ordered 300 guns and may want more. Our factory at Nalanda has started producing the propellant for shells for these guns that we used to import earlier,” OFB Chairman S K Chourasia was quoted as saying by PTI on Monday.
"The cost of a new 155-mm artillery gun comes to around Rs 15 crore, while the upgradation has been done for just Rs one crore for each, thus saving the exchequer a lot of money," Chourasia said further.
The upgradation, involving the changing of the barrel, would mean an increase in the range of the field gun from around 27 kms to 36 kms, an OFB official explained.
OFB member (weapons, vehicles and equipment) Hari Mohan said the indigenous technological solution for upgunning the 130-mm field guns was achieved at the organisation's Nalanda facility and had emerged as the only acceptable offer to the armed forces' requirements.
Chourasia said research and development was being cultivated at the OFB's 13 ordnance development centres.
"With the assistance of premier academic institutions like the IITs at Mumbai, Kanpur and Kharagpur, the ordnance factories are not only upgrading the existing products, but also developing new weapon platforms," he added.