The first batch of five ultra-light howitzers M777, manufactured by BAE Systems, is likely to be delivered to the Army by September while the remaining of the 145 guns ordered by India would be delivered in batches starting June next year.
Speaking to The Tribune, BAE’s India campaign director (weapon systems) Paul West said: “Full-scale deliveries will commence in June 2019.” About the ongoing trials in India, West said these would be completed in May. “The guns have been firing a broader range of ammunition—all made in India.”
Questioned about an accident during the trials last year when an ammunition shell burst inside a gun’s barrel, he said a full report of the incident would be put out to the US government as well as to the Indian establishment.
New Delhi ordered 145 guns from BAE Systems at a cost of $737 million.
The induction rate from June next year is expected to be five guns per month till the complete consignment is received by mid-2021.
Made of titanium, each gun weighs 4,000 kg, making its transportable by CH-47 Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemaster and the C-130 Hercules aircraft or on trucks with ease to provide increased mobility in the mountains.
India had not ordered any new 155 MM artillery guns since March 1986 when 410 pieces of the Swedish company Bofors’ FH-77B 155mm/39 calibre howitzer were purchased for approximately Rs 1,437 crore.
Military Might ::
– 145 guns Delhi has ordered from BAE Systems
– $737 million is total worth of the deal for guns
– 4,000 kg gun weighs, thus it is easily transportable
SOURCE : TRIBUNE INDIA