BAE Systems M777 Howitzer Programme Exceeds £1bn Sales

Farn­bor­ough, UKBAE Sys­tems has received an order for 93 addi­tion­al M777 how­itzers, tak­ing the order book to 955 sys­tems and tak­ing sales for the pro­gramme to over £1bn.

M777 on operation in the field.
M777 on oper­a­tion in the field.
Source: BAE Sys­tems

The US is buy­ing 58 guns for the US Army and U.S. Marine Corps while Aus­tralia is acquir­ing 35 through the US For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales (FMS) pro­gram. The order makes Aus­tralia the third cus­tomer for the M777 sys­tem after the U.S. and Cana­da.

Mike Smith, man­ag­ing direc­tor for BAE Sys­tems’ Euro­pean Weapons busi­ness, com­ment­ed on the gun acqui­si­tion con­tract: “The pur­chase of addi­tion­al how­itzers is fur­ther endorse­ment of M777 as the most effec­tive how­itzer sys­tem of its kind. Its proven com­bat effec­tive­ness means we expect more orders through 2011 as we con­tin­ue to pro­mote the sys­tem glob­al­ly.

“The U.S. gov­ern­ment is cur­rent­ly dis­cussing the pro­vi­sion of 145 sys­tems to India as well as sev­er­al oth­er coun­tries. In par­al­lel, BAE Sys­tems is respond­ing to requests for infor­ma­tion from a large num­ber of coun­tries wish­ing to expand their indi­rect fire capa­bil­i­ty.”

BAE Sys­tem’ facil­i­ty at Hat­ties­burg, Mis­sis­sip­pi, is respon­si­ble for final inte­gra­tion and test of the weapon sys­tem. The prime con­tract man­age­ment of the M777 pro­gram and man­u­fac­ture and assem­bly of the com­plex tita­ni­um struc­tures and asso­ci­at­ed recoil com­po­nents are under­tak­en at Bar­row-in-Fur­ness in the Unit­ed King­dom.

The M777 con­tin­ues to pro­vide artillery sup­port to coali­tion forces in Afghanistan where its per­for­mance exceeds expec­ta­tions. The gun can fire the “smart” Excal­ibur round, co-devel­oped by BAE Sys­tems, up to 40 km (25m) accu­rate­ly enough to tar­get a spe­cif­ic room with­in a build­ing, reduc­ing the chance of inno­cent casu­al­ties and allow­ing sup­port­ing fire to be brought down much clos­er to friend­ly troops.

BAE Sys­tems has also recent­ly agreed to pro­vide an $18m (£12m) sup­port pack­age for M777 direct­ly with Cana­da, which is procur­ing 37 guns via FMS. The con­tract cov­ers the sup­ply of spares and engi­neer­ing sup­port.

Weigh­ing in at less than 4200kg, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary M777 is the world’s first artillery weapon to make wide­spread use of tita­ni­um and alu­mini­um alloys, result­ing in a how­itzer which is half the weight of con­ven­tion­al 155mm sys­tems. This allows it to be deployed by medi­um-lift heli­copter quick­ly and beyond the reach of road­side bombs to oth­er­wise inac­ces­si­ble areas, extend­ing its reach over the the­atre of oper­a­tions.

The M777 effort is man­aged by the US Army/Marines Light Weight 155mm Joint Pro­gram Office at Picatin­ny Arse­nal, New Jer­sey.

About BAE Sys­tems
BAE Sys­tems is a glob­al defence, secu­ri­ty and aero­space com­pa­ny with approx­i­mate­ly 107,000 employ­ees world­wide. The Com­pa­ny deliv­ers a full range of prod­ucts and ser­vices for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced elec­tron­ics, secu­ri­ty, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions and cus­tomer sup­port ser­vices. In 2009 BAE Sys­tems report­ed sales of £22.4 bil­lion (US $36.2 bil­lion).

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Mike Sweeney, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +44 (0)780 171 6452

Leonie Fos­ter, BAE Sys­tems plc
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 383777 Mob: +44 (0) 7540 630168

Issued by:

BAE Sys­tems, Farn­bor­ough, Hamp­shire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hot­line: + 44 (0) 7801 717739

Text- / Bildquelle (source):
BAE Sys­tems