$750 mn deal: Indian Army to get 2 BAE Systems’ M777 ULH howitzer guns
Indian Defence News: NEW DELHI-The Indian Army is all set to re-strategies the artillery formation and the process of acquiring five different types of artillery guns under a massive modernization plan of 22000 crores. The air portable guns that arrived today will be used to shore up defences in high-altitude areas against China. The 155 mm, 39-calibre gun will have a maximum range of 30 km.
Indian Army has received its first consignment of M-777 ultra-light howitzers which arrived in India today are part of 145-gun order sealed in a government-to-government deal with the United States for 700 million dollars.
In all, the military will import 25 M-777s directly from BAE systems, the manufacturer of the guns. The rest will be assembled in India in collaboration with Mahindra Defence Systems. The last artillery guns that India bought were the controversial Swedish Bofors guns in the mid-1980s. But the US $1.4 billion deal was mired in controversy after reports that the Swedish company had paid US$ 9.9 million (Rs. 64 crores).
There has been a high emphasis on the fast tracking of acquisitions of modern artillery guns for the army. Earlier this month, the Indian company Larsen & Toubro bagged its biggest defence order to supply another key system to the Army. L&T, which has partnered with the South Korean company Hanwha Tech Win (HTW) will be assembling 100 units of 155mm, 52 calibre K9 Vajra-T self-propelled howitzers. The gun is built in India has been modified to suit Indian conditions including desert operations. L&T won the 4500 crore order after beating three other competitors in a series of user trials and evaluations.
Earlier this year, India showcased Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) during Republic Day parade which is supposedly designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Ordinance Factory Board (OFB), ATAGS is exclusively made in India, it is a 155 mm, 52-calibre gun which is towed by a truck.
The gun system has successfully cleared engineering trials and will be assembled in collaboration with the Kalyani Group and Tata Power. It features an all electric drive to ensure reliability and minimum maintenance and can strike targets 40 kilometres away.