A Look At The Bofors Gun Of The Indianarmy

The Swedish Bofors gun is associated with the Bofors scandal when hush money was supposed to have been paid by the Bofors Company to some middlemen who were close to the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. But with all this hula bulla about the kickbacks and their recipients, the true worth of the Bofors gun has been brushed under the carpet.
A Look at the Bofors Gun of the IndianArmy
Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bofors_scandal

The Swedish Bofors gun is associated with the Bofors scandal when hush money was supposed to have been paid by the Bofors Company to some middlemen who were close to the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. But with all this hula bulla about the kickbacks and their recipients, the true worth of the Bofors gun has been brushed under the carpet.
Selection of the Gun
The Bofors gun was selected by the Indian army after extensive trials in 1986. At that time the Army evaluated the Russian and the British guns. However, the Bofors 155 mm howitzer with its

radar controlled gun sight was an easy winner over other competitors and the Indian army received 410 pieces of this heavy artillery from 1986-1990. The actual order was for 1600 guns, but with all the scandals going on the order was curtailed.
The gun is manufactured by the Swedish Company Bofors. This company started off as an iron and steel company over 350 years back at Karlskoga in Sweden. Subsequently, the company diverted to manufacture of guns. It will not be out of place to mention that Alfred Nobel the inventor of the dynamite had a share in the Bofors arms company.
Guns manufactured by Bofors are high in quality and efficiency. My first brush with the Bofors gun came in 1987 when the Indian Army under General Sundarji, the Chief of the Indian Army started a desert exercise called ‘ Brass tacks’ in Rajasthan. The Bofors gun was used extensively during this exercise. Flying from the air, I could visualize the Bofors guns pumping away at their targets some 40 km away. The Bofors 155 mm gun is a long range gun that can be very lethal.
Technical specifications
The Bofors 155 mm caliber gun is a complete weapon system and a force multiplier for the army. The gun is self-propelled and has its own power plant for propulsion. It requires of six trained gunners to
operate the howitzer.
The gun if moving on its own power has a speed of 8 km an hour, but it can also be towed for faster movement by specialized trucks up to a speed of 70 km an hour. This becomes essential when the guns are to be moved quickly in a changing battle scenario.
The gun has a single 155mm barrel that can fire 10 rounds a minute up to a range of 24000 meters. It has an extended range of 30,000 meters with special ammunition. Thus one can get an idea of the use of the gun. The gun barrel has a gradient of 40º, which gives the shells the necessary elevation to travel the distance. It has a transverse elevation of: ±60º in total.
Battle Use
The gun is an automatic weapon and locks onto the target automatically. The gun proved its worth during the Kargil conflict when the gun fired from below the hills could target the Pakistan troops in their shelters almost 30 km away. The gun played a significant part in the assault of the Indian infantry in the heights of Kargil. With lethal covering fire, the Indian Infantry could move up the slopes of the hills.
Twenty years have elapsed and there is a need for up gradation of the Bofors gun. The army has now prevailed on the government to go in for an advanced version of the Bofors gun which is a marvel of engineering. The gun is standard equipment in NATO and is a name to reckon with. It has competition from the Russian 155 howitzer, but the Bofors scores for its range and easy serviceability. Irrespective of the Bofors scandal the Bofors gun adds to the Indian army’s firepower.

The controversy has not died down and even though Rajiv is dead, the new BJP governmnet is trying to nail the truth. It looks a little late in the day and futile as well



Article Written By Madan G Singh

An early retired Gp Capt from Air Force who is an Executive Director in the Corporate world. Loves to write fiction and articles. Published over 60 short stories and his novel" Romance of the Frontier" is published from Notion Books.His second novel is on way for publication. The author also has close to 10,000 articles on the b net with millions of views

Last updated on 11-10-2017 862 0

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