O September 2, the barrel of a US-manufactured new long-range ultra-light (ULH) howitzer M-777 gun exploded during a field trial in Pokhran following which an inquiry was ordered.
Now, the initial investigation has found that the main reason behind the accident was faulty ammunition supplied by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and further probe into the matter was on, the sources said.
OFB spokesperson Uddipan Mukherjee said, "Any such failure is attributable to a complex phenomena pertaining to internal ballistics as the shell moves at a very high speed inside the barrel."
“These kinds of failures can have multiple causes and the quality of the shell is not the only reason.”
Mukherjee said that the ammunition used in the M-777 gun had undergone the required quality tests even though he did not specifically comment on the findings of the probe.
India had received two M-777 ultra-light howitzers in May, each worth around Rs 35 crore while three more guns are to be supplied in September 2018.
The Army had received the howitzers as part of an order for 145 guns and induction will commence from March 2019 onwards with five guns per month till the complete consignment is received by mid-2021.