Indian Army gets M777 howitzers 30 years after Bofors scandal

Indian Army has received two of the 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers from BAE Systems. The two 155mm/39 caliber ultra light howitzers (ULH) is being tested at the Pokhran field firing range in Pakistan. This is the first induction of the howitzers after the Bofors scandal broke out around 30 years ago in the late 1980s. The scandal had badly hit the artillery modernisation of the Indian Army as all deals for this purpose were put on hold. A few high-profile people in the country had allegedly received kickbacks in the deal.

After a 30-year wait for new artillery guns since the Bofors scandal, the Indian Army today received the first two ultra light howitzers from the US as part of an order for 145 long-range guns which will be mostly deployed along the border with China. The M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers (ULH), having a maximum range of 30 km and manufactured by the BAE Systems, were being taken to Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan for test firing.The Indian Army is in dire need of ULH and India had struck a government-to-government deal with the US in November last year for supply of the 145 howitzers at a cost of nearly Rs 5,000 crore. While 25 guns will come in a fly-away condition, the rest will be assembled in India by the BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.The 155 mm, 39-calibre guns will fire Indian ammunitions. three more guns will be supplied in September, 2018 for training. Thereafter, induction will commence from March 2019 onwards with five guns per month till complete consignment is received by mid 2021.We continue to support the US government in integrating this new weapon system with the Indian Army’s artillery modernization program

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