Sunday, November 11, 2012


Howitzer guns will soon be ready for army trials

Two types of indigenously-manufactured Howitzer guns for the Indian Army [ Images ] will be ready for trials by December this year and by June 2013, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "As per the Defence Acquisition Council decision of October 2011, Ordnance Factory Board is to manufacture 155mm Howitzers."

The OFBs have been asked to manufacture "two prototypes of 155mm/39 calibre FH-77-B02 guns" and the "upgraded version of 155 mm/45 calibre Howitzers guns", he said.

On timelines for trials of these indigenous guns, Antony said that the two prototypes of 155mm/39 calibre Howitzers will be ready by December 2012, followed by two samples of the upgraded 155mm/45 calibre guns by June 2013.

On Transfer of Technology with the Swedish firm which supplied the 155mm/39 calibre Bofors guns, Antony said, "India had entered into license agreement with A B Bofors, Sweden for indigenous manufacture of 155mm/39 calibre FH-77-B02 guns and its ammunition."

Replying to a question on the on-going probe in procurement of 12 VVIP helicopters, the ,inister denied that the Enforcement Directorate has been asked to look into the allegations of kickback by the vendors.

On complaints of embezzlement against cantonment board officials, Antony said, "A complaint dated Feb 2012 regarding embezzlement of fund concerning EPF/ESI and service tax of workers engaged through outsourcing by the officials of Delhi [
Images ] cantonment board has been received."

The matter is under examination in the directorate general of defence estates, he told the House.

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