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In final stages of ordering 155/52 self-propelled gun: Parrikar

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GANDHINAGAR (PTI): After successfully completing field trials of indigenously-developed howitzer Dhanush, another self propelled gun 155/52 is in the final stages of being ordered, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

The 155mm/45-calibre Dhanush howitzer has been tested and field trials have been completed, he said at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here.

Also, the 'Pinaka' rocket, which used as an area destruction weapon that can virtually decimate 900 square meter of area, has been tested for 65 km range on Thursday, he said.

"That gives a tremendous boost to the capability of the armed forces once it goes in production. So why do we need to get worried about technology being US engineered," he said.

Indian army has not had a new 155mm artillery gun inducted since the Bofors scandal of 1987. 'Dhanush', also known as 'desi Bofors', is indigenously-developed 155mm gun with 45 calibre having advanced features with a strike range of 38 km. The towed howitzer 'Dhanush' has larger range than 27-km of the imported Bofors.

"India after more than 30 years has successfully developed its own gun. No new artillery gun was introduced for 30 years in the Army. For the first time we have successfully developed and tested, field trial has been completed for Dhanush which is 155/45 Howitzer. Another self-propelled gun, 155/52 is in the final stages of being ordered," he said.

More than 50 per cent of the components of the self- propelled gun, being made by a joint venture of Larsen & Toubro and Samsung of Korea, are made in India, he said.

"The first lot will be ordered probably in the current financial year. This is one of the Make in India project. It is one step ahead of the Make in India. It is designed, developed and Made in India," he said.

Stating that India needs "to go a few steps further", he said these few steps further possibly would come through "a very strategic chapter in DPP (Defence Procurement Procedure, i.e. strategic partner. Which we expect to come out very soon.

That will be a game changer for big time manufacturing in India and I expect it to be operational very soon."

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