Indian Defence Minister Approves Acquisition of BAE System M777 Howitzers 15051510

Defence & Security News - India
Indian Defence Minister Approves Acquisition of BAE System M777 Howitzers
India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who heads the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), on Wednesday, May 13, evening cleared several defence projects, giving impetus to the present government's 'Make in India' initiative. Giving a major fillip to the Indian Army, which has been bothered by the shortage of artillery, the DAC okayed the acquisition of 145 pieces of BAE's M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers worth Rs 2,700 crore.
Indian Defence Minister Approves Acquisition of BAE System M777 HowitzersThe M777 is an ultra light howitzer designed and manufactured by BAE Systems

International companies such as Denel, Rosoboronexport and BAE Systems had bid for a proposal to procure 814 artillery guns worth $2.5 billion in 2010. BAE Systems had won the contract to supply 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers worth $493 million.

Despite negotiations running into years, talks had broken down last year over price. “The case for procurement of ultra-light howitzer guns through the US government has not progressed due to cost issues and because the vendor has not been able to come up with a proposal fully compliant to the offset requirements,” the then-defense minister Arun Jaitleyhad told Parliament in July last year.

This will be a government-to-government deal with the US via Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. However, the maintenance and ammunition will be via Indian systems.

BAE had proposed to invest in India by partnering with a private company and setting up a production unit.

India has not bought artillery guns since the Bofors deal in 1986.

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