India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the upgrading of the Indian Army’s Soviet-era 130 mm/52 caliber M-46 field guns to the 155 mm/45 caliber model. The upgrade works, estimated to cost about $ 28 million, will be carried out by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
According to a government official, the OFB secured the contract by outbidding two foreign players who had partnered with local private sector companies Punj Lloyd and Bharat Forge. All upgraded guns will be supplied to the Indian Army by 2022.
“The OFB will replace the barrel and breech block and add new sighting systems of the guns. It will be 100% indigenous work which saves vital foreign exchange of the country,” an official told Sputnik.
The Army had floated a tender in 2013 for upgrading the lethality of 300 out of 1000 M-46 guns. The gun will acquire a range of over 38 kilometers of range after the upgrade. The defense ministry selected the state-owned OFB on the basis of better capabilities in terms of direct fire, the rate of fire, accuracy, and consistency.
The gun has a combat weight of 8.4 tons and a length and width of 11.84 meters and 2.45 meters.