India Orders 145 M777 Ultra Light Howitzers From BAE Systems

The Defence Ministry has cleared a long-pending Rs 3,000 crore ($660 million) deal to acquire 145 ultra-light howitzer guns to add fire-power to its ageing inventory.


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The deal to acquire artillery guns comes after 27 years since the Bofors guns payoff scandal broke out in the late 1980s, defence ministry sources revealed.

The M777 BAE Systems guns will be fought through the Foreign Military Sales(FMS) route of the US government. The deal was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council(DAC), headed by Defence Minister AK Antony.

The deal comes after the Indian Army chief General VK Singh wrote to PM Manmohan Singh, highlighting the gaps in its preparedness.

The 155mm 39-calibre guns are light in weight and can be easily airlifted. It is likely to be deployed in the high altitude mountainous areas in the northeast and in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir bordering China.

The M777 gun was cleared following a favourable report submitted by a committee headed by DRDO chide VK Saraswat that studied the suitability of the weapon system.

The deal was cleared after the army had conducted a series of rigorous trials of the weapon.


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