India inked an agreement with the US for the purchase of 145 M777 ultra-light Howitzers. The Letter of Agreement and Acceptance (LOA) is for sales is through the foreign military sale (FMS) route. The node for the agreement was given by the Cabinet Committee (CCS) on Security on 17th November.
This is a much needed boost for Army modernisation. This is the first deal that India signed for artillery after the Bofors scandal in 80s. The deal will cost India around Rs. 5,000 crore ($ 737 million). While 25 guns will be directly imported the rest 120 will be manufactured by Mahindra in India.
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These guns are very light and portable and the Army intends to station them at higher altitude regions along the India-China border regions. These guns are air portable and the 155mm/39 caliber howitzers can fire up to 30 kms.
The gun are manufactured by BAE systems and in a statement the Vice President and General Manager for Weapon Systems at BAE Systems said, "Our plan to establish a domestic Assembly, Integration and Test facility further demonstrates our commitment to 'Make in India' and remains a firm part of our strategy to work with the Indian defense sector across Air, Land, Sea and Security."
Information Source: news18
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