Indian Ministry of Defence is planning to order 500 more M777 155mm BAE Systems light howitzers 11612153

Defence & Security News - India
 
Indian Ministry of Defence is planning to order 500 more M777 155mm BAE Systems light howitzers.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) of India is planning to place yet another multi-million dollar order with BAE Systems Inc for purchasing 500 more M777 ultra-light Howitzer guns. This is even as it is all set to sign the pending sale of 145 gun-pack with the UK-headquartered defence major.
     
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) of India is planning to place yet another multi-million dollar order with BAE Systems Inc for purchasing 500 more M777 ultra-light Howitzer guns. This is even as it is all set to sign the pending sale of 145 gun-pack with the UK-headquartered defence major. Michigan US Army National Guard soldiers of 119th Field Artillery fire the M777 Lightweight Howitzer; at Camp Grayling, Mich., July 19, 2012.
     
Apparently, the Ministry has already expressed its interest to procure 500 pieces for the Indian Army from BAE Systems, according to official sources. However, commercial talks are yet to begin.

On the other hand, the long-pending deal to purchase 145 pieces of the M777 155mm 39 caliber towed guns is learnt to have already reached its final leg and the contract will be signed by the middle of 2016.

“The Indian Army has a huge requirement for modern Land Systems, both weapons and vehicles, and we are well positioned to help India fulfil that,” John Brosnan, Managing Director (South-East Asia and India), BAE Systems, told BusinessLine.

John Brosnan, Managing Director (South-East Asia and India), said BAE Systems is working closely with the Indian and US governments to support early conclusion of the M777 deal. “The American government is now in the process of finalising the letter of acceptance (LoA) for submission to the Indian authorities and thereafter the deal can be inked.

“The 145 Howitzers will be procured under this deal with the commitment of assembly, integration and testing here in India under the offset policy,” he said.

However, sources said the new LoA includes a revised price of $735-750 million, an escalation of six to eight per cent from the older price of $694 million, which was finalised in October 2013 under the previous UPA regime.

At that time talks did not progress further until the present government cleared it in May.

BAE also plans to set up an assembly plant with domestic defence firms to manufacture the guns in India under the ‘Make in India’ scheme.

The M777 howitzer is a towed 155 mm artillery systems designed and manufactured by BAE Systems' Global Combat Systems division. The M777 uses a digital fire-control system similar to that found on self-propelled howitzers such as the M109A6 Paladin to provide navigation, pointing and self-location, allowing it to be put into action quickly.

The M777 can fire latest generation of ammunition as the Excalibur GPS-guided munition, which allows accurate fire at a range of up to 40 km.
 

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