The Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) today said it had successfully upgraded the 130-mm field guns to 155 mm capability at its Nalanda facility in Bihar and was expecting an order for 300 such guns from the Army.
The Kolkata-headquartered State defence manufacturer had successfully completed the user evaluation of 130/155 mm “upgunning” and was likely to receive orders for the upgradation of 300 artillery guns from the Army, OFB Chairman S K Chourasia said.
“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,” he told newspersons here.
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.
Chourasia said the OFB-offered, 100-per cent indigenous solution had emerged successful against private competitors fielding imported equipment from leading global manufacturers in this field.
“We are likely to receive orders for the upgunning of 300 such 130-mm guns to 155-mm ones,” the OFB chairman said.
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.