India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a INR2 billion (USD27.2 million) contract to the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to upgrade 300 of the Indian Army's (IA's) Soviet-era 130 mm/52 calibre M-46 field guns to 155 mm/45 calibre in a bid to augment its firepower.
IA officials told Jane's that the OFB signed the deal on 25 October after edging out local private-sector rivals Punj Lloyd and Bharat Forge in the second round of 'confirmatory field evaluation trials' conducted in January.
During the trials the OFB-upgraded M-46 - now known as the Sharang - achieved a range of 36-39 km, compared with the 27 km of the standard gun, in addition to demonstrating "a 300% increase in lethality and levels of accuracy and consistency of fire" greater than those of the other two competing retrofitted guns.
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