In a major push to modernize Indian army, India signed another defense deal with US to import 145 M777 lightweight howitzer artillery gun. The deal will cost India Rs 5,000 crore. Indian Defence Ministry approved this deal in October 2016. This strategic purchase is expected to strengthen the Army. BAE System, the manufacturer said that M777 howitzer is a highly portable gun. It will prove to be a big positive in the defence arsenal. The gun is portable by land, sea and air.
This deal is certainly of most value for India as the system can easily move and re-deployed due to its light weight and easy assembling.
The M777 howitzer has a maximum unassisted range of 24.7 km and an assisted range of 30 plus km. BAE System also said that “the gun has a scorching rate of fire of as much as 5 rounds per minute for up to 2 minutes.”
Recently India also ordered Chinook helicopters from Boeing to boost the transportation in Army. This lightweight M777 howitzer gun can easily move using this helicopter.
This would be India’s first deal of such artillery gun after Bofors.
In a major boost to Make in India, the company also planned to establish a domestic assembly.
BAE systems further said that “Our plan to establish a domestic Assembly, Integration and Test facility further demonstrates our commitment to ‘Make in India’ and remains a firm part of our strategy to work with the Indian defense sector across Air, Land, Sea and Security.”
According to a PTI report, 25 guns will come to India in ready condition. The other 120 will be assembled in India at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility for the weapon system. This will be a big boost for indigenous production of necessary or crucial armament for India. For this, BAE is looking to tie-up with the Mahindra group.
The first two M777 guns will be delivered within six months of the contract, while rest will be delivered at the rate of two per month.