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'Bofors gun helped India win against Pak'

July 08, 2009 18:49 IST

The Bofors gun continues to give India 'an edge' over its adversary on the Line of Control and has helped the country win 'artillery duels', till the time the ceasefire came into effect in 2003, Indian Army officers say.

"With a range of over 35 kms in the high-altitude terrain, the gun helped us win artillery duels with Pakistani Army on the LoC till the 2003 ceasefire between the two countries. During that period, after unprovoked shelling by them, we would retaliate with our Bofors howitzers," a senior artillery officer from the Kargil-based 'Forever in Operations' Division said.

The FH77 Bofors guns, he said, were better than the medium artillery guns available with the Pakistani Army.

"Superiority of our guns, which can fire three rounds in 12 seconds, has been proved during the 1999 war and they also know that their guns are of no match to our medium guns. After Kargil, the guns proved their mettle during Operation Parakram in 2001 also, where they would fire 80-90 rounds every day causing immense damage to enemy posts and morale," the officers added.

During the Kargil war, the gun was extensively used by the Army to dislodge Pakistani Army regulars and militants from Indian peaks, after they had intruded into Indian territory in the winter, when both the sides vacated their respective posts at high altitude areas. The guns today, the officers said, have been deployed at altitudes ranging between 10-13,000 feet and were helping the Indian troops achieve 'total dominance' over the adversary in the region.

"With the Bofors guns now being deployed at such high altitudes and its extended range here, we can strike deep within the enemy territory. The Bofors can easily take on targets in Pakistan occupied Kashmir towns such as Skardu and others," they said.

Asked about the deployment of the guns at such high altitudes, the officers said that the auxiliary power unit in the Bofors guns made it easy for reaching such heights.  

Ajit K Dubey in Kargil
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