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Trials of indigenized howitzer to continue till early 2016



New Delhi: The indigenized and advanced version of Bofors 155mm howitzer is headed for more trials before it is finally inducted in the Indian Army, informed sources said.

The sources told IANS that the 155/45mm calibre Dhanush gun, which was found satisfactory in the trials last year, is now undergoing confirmatory trials which are likely to end by early 2016. The Dhanush is a modified version of the Bofors howitzers that India bought in mid-1980s. It underwent winter trial in 2013-14 and summer trials in 2014.

While the trials were satisfactory, the army suggested some minor changes, an official said.

“The trials were largely satisfactory. But there were minor things pointed out that would make the gun more suitable for the army’s use,” a senior officer told IANS on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

“The changes have been made, and summer trials are on,” the official said, adding that the winter trials will also be repeated.

Equipment like artillery guns undergo different trials, including that for extreme climates and altitude, with India home to both high mountains and deserts along its borders with China and Pakistan.

The official said once all user trials are complete, the army will initially induct 114 guns.

The order is expected to be valued at around Rs. 1,260 crore (close to $200 million)and the guns are expected to be manufactured by Jabalpur’s Gun Carriage Factory.

The Dhanush prototype suffered a barrel burst during firing trials at Pokhran last August.

An officer, however, said the fault lay not in the gun but in the ammunition.

The blueprints for the Bofors gun were were provided by the Swedish company to India as part of the purchase of 410 FH-77 howitzers in 1986.

The modifications include an auxiliary power unit and electronic sights.

The Indian Army has not acquired artillery guns in the almost three decades since 1986.


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John Abraham Feels He Has Become An Old Horse Of The Film Industry

The movie was caught in a legal battle prior to its release.

John Abraham Feels He Has Become An Old Horse Of The Film Industry
John Abraham Feels He Has Become An Old Horse Of The Film Industry, flickr

Actor-producer John Abraham, who has been appreciated for his new release “Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran”, feels he has become an old horse of the film industry when it comes to taking praise and criticism in his stride.

John spoke to the media at a success party for the film here on Tuesday along with director Abhishek Sharma.

The actor’s career spans over 15 years and he has worked in almost 45 movies in Bollywood.

Talking about the industry, audience and media’s changing perception on the ups and downs in his career, John said: “See it’s cyclical. If your one film does good, then people laud you for it and you get a bouquet of flowers for it and if your film doesn’t do well, then you also get brickbats for it.

“So I think I have become an old horse in this industry. Now I understand what works for the film and what runs in the mind of people.”

Generally, films made on issues of national interest get noticed, and John’s “Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran” is based on the nuclear tests conducted at Pokhran in 1998.

Soldiers, fickr

Asked if he is expecting a National Award for his film, he said: “We hope we make it to the National Awards. I think it will be well deserved on the part of our director, Abhishek Sharma.

“It’s a good, commercial, entertaining and content-driven film but it’s too early to talk about our chances of winning a National Award. We are not over-confident people. We think we will deserve whatever the jury will decide for our film but at the same time I think people loved the film and that is important for us.”

John and Akshay Kumar share a really close bond with each other. They have earlier worked in “Garam Masala”, “Desi Boyz”, “Housefull 2” and “Dishoom” together. But on this Independence Day, Akshay’s “Gold” and John’s “Satyamev Jayate” will clash with each other.

On this, John said: “Akshay is an actor in ‘Gold’ and I am an actor in ‘Satyamev Jayate’. It’s a producer’s decision from both sides. It is about Excel Entertainment and T-Series, so I have no say in that at all. As far as competing with Akshay is concerned, I want to make it clear that he is my senior in the industry.

“I love him and I have always wished the best for him and I am sure he also wants best for me.”

There have been reports that the release of Salman Khan’s “Race 3” on June 15 will not affect the screen numbers that have been acquired by “Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran”.

John said it’s good news as it will help his movie complete 50 days at the box office.

“Personally, I want this film to complete 100 days at the box office… We have a certain target in mind and we want to reach that target. At least 65 days at the box office is what we are looking at and we are hoping for it. We are thankful to the High Court, media, distributors, exhibitors and audience for giving tremendous support for this film.”

Aso read: John Shares the Reasons to Make Parmanu

The movie was caught in a legal battle prior to its release. (IANS)