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Danush

155 mm field howitzer

Danush howitzer

The Danush is an Indian howitzer, based on technology of the Swedish Bofors FH-77B

 
 
Country of origin India
Entered service 2019
Crew 6 - 8
Armament
Gun bore 155 mm
Barrel length 45 calibers
Projectile weight 43 - 48 kg
Maximum range of fire 38 km
Maximum rate of fire up to 12 rpm
Sustained rate of fire 1 rpm
Elevation range - 3 to + 70 degrees
Traverse range 30 degrees
Dimensions and weight
Weight 13 t
Length (in traveling order) ?
Length (in combat order) ~ 12 m
Auxiliary power unit
Engine diesel
Engine power 127 hp
Auto-propulsion speed (on roads) ~ 18 km/h
Auto-propulsion range (on roads) ?
Mobility
Towing vehicle 6x6 truck
Road towing speed ~ 50 km/h
Cross-country towing speed ~ 30 km/h
Emplacement 1 - 2 minutes
Displacement 1 - 2 minutes

 

   The Danush is an Indian 155 mm field howitzer. It is based on a Swedish FH-77B, which was supplied to India. Between 1986 and 1991 a total of 410 FH-77B howitzers were delivered to India with a number of associated Swedish 6x6 artillery tractors. Also this sale included the technology transfer to India. Though by 2020 only around 200 of these howitzers remained in operational service due to their age and replacement was needed. There were a couple of attempts to purchase new artillery systems from other countries. However these attempts failed due to corruption scandals.

   The Danush howitzer was designed in India between 2010 and 2013. It was created as a replacement for the FH-77B, as well as older 105 mm Indian Field Gun, 105 mm Light Field Gun and Soviet 122 mm D-30 howitzers. The Danush is based on the FH-77B, but has a longer ordnance and some other improvements. First Danush howitzers were delivered to the Indian Army for trials and evaluation in 2016. During trials these outperformed the Bofors FH-77B howitzers in terms of range and accuracy by around 20-25%. In 2019 the Danush was approved for series production. During the same year it was officially adopted by the Indian Army. Initially a total of 114 units were ordered. Small scale deliveries commenced in 2019.

   This howitzer is fitted with auxiliary power unit and has its own steering system. Its power unit is used for auto-propulsion on roads and in position. This power unit also assists emplacement and displacement of the howitzer, as well as loading of ammunition.

   The Danush is fitted with a 155 mm/L45 ordnance. It is longer than the L39 mm ordnance of the FH-77B. Hence the Danush has a longer range of fire. It is compatible with all standard NATO 155 mm ammunition. It fires high explosive, smoke, illuminating and cargo shells. A standard high explosive shell has a maximum range of 38 km. It is also compatible with a US Excalibur extended range GPS-guided shells. These have a range of up to 40 km and are accurate out to 5 m.

   The Danush has a split trail carriage. However unlike most other field howitzers it lacks a central plate. Still though it is capable of wide angles of traverse and elevation.

   The howitzer is fitted with a hydraulic crane, which loads ammunition. This crane picks up a pack of 3 shells and loads them into the loading tray of the howitzer. Charges are loaded manually. Though the shell and the propellant charge are rammed mechanically using an automatic load assisting system. It loads the howitzer at any elevation. Unfortunately there is no option for manual loading. If the power unit fails the crew can use manual hydraulic pumps in order to continue operation.

   The Danush can launch a burst of 3 shells within 15 seconds. So in theory a crew of 2 can emplace the howitzer and fire at a rate of up to 12 rounds per minute. Sustained rate of fire is 1 round per minute.

   The Danush is fitted with automatic gun laying system. This howitzer is fitted with a tactical computer, which performs ballistic calculations.

   This howitzer is operated by a crew of 6-8. It takes only around 1-2 minutes for the crew to emplace the howitzer or to leave the firing position.

   The Danush uses auxiliary power unit, which develops 127 hp. It is installed in a fairing carried atop of the front of the carriage. Maximum road speed of this howitzer is around 18 km/h. Though auto-propulsion capability is typically used only for short distances. Normally this artillery system is towed by a 6x6 military truck. Recently India adopted an Ashok Leyland FAT artillery tractor with 6x6 configuration. This tractor has additional cabs for the gun crew. Also it carries ammunition for this howitzer. Furthermore there is a hydraulic hoist for self-loading and unloading of ammunition. The Danush can be also towed by most other 6x6 military trucks.

 

Variants

 

   Mounted Gun Howitzer is a self-propelled version of the Danush, mounted on a Tatra 8x8 military truck chassis. The main goal was to improve tactical mobility of this howitzer. It can briefly self-deploy on roads over significant distances. The Mounted Gun Howitzer was publicly revealed in 2018. However so far it was not adopted by the Indian Army.

 

 

 
Danush howitzer

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Danush howitzer

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Danush howitzer

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Danush howitzer

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Danush howitzer

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Danush howitzer

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Danush howitzer

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys
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