New Delhi. BAE Systems has welcomed the news of the Governments of India and the United States agreeing on the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of 145 M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzers, a company press statement said December 1.
With this development, India joins the rank with US, Canada and the Australian forces in gaining the M777’s unmatched strategic and tactical mobility.
“We look forward to providing the Indian Army with the combat-proven M777,” said Dr Joe Senftle, vice president & general manager for Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. “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.”
The company anticipates signing a contract in the coming weeks with the US Department of Defense to supply these M777 Howitzers to the Indian Army, providing them with superior artillery capability.
At half the weight of other 155mm towed howitzers, the M777 provides a rapid reaction capability and a proven pedigree that delivers decisive firepower when needed most in sustained combat conditions.
With more than 1,090 M777s in service, it is the only battle-proven 155mm Ultra-lightweight howitzer in the world. It will remain at the forefront of artillery technology well into the future through the use of technical insertions, long-range precision guided munition developments, and flexible mobility options.
It may be noted here that India and the US on November 30 signed about Rs 5,000 crore deal for 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers. This is the first deal India has inked for procuring artillery guns since the Bofors scam in 1980s.
Also encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to “Make in India” earlier this year, BAE Systems had announced a plan to establish an Assembly, Integration & Testing (AIT) facility in India which will expand the country’s global supply chain, and is an integral part of the offset offer to the Government of India.
The offset offer commits to investing in, and the development of, a number of Indian defence suppliers, providing them with access to the BAE Systems group across Air, Land, Sea and Security programmes. The conclusion of this procurement will enable BAE Systems to make an investment of over $200 million in those Indian defence suppliers.