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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