New Delhi/Nagpur: The Defence Ministry has reportedly given the final clearance for the much awaited M777 howitzer guns deal. The deal for the purchase of 145 US Ultra-Light Howitzers from BAE Systems will cost around Rs 5,000 crore subject to clearance from the Finance Ministry and Cabinet Committee on Security.
That the deal is the first for guns after the Bofors only adds weight to how important such an acquisition will be for the Indian Army, which is struggling with insufficient artillery. The M777 Howitzer is a 155mm 39 calibre towed gun.
According to BAE Systems, the manufacturer of the gun, the M777 is a highly portable gun in the defence arsenal of any country. The gun is portable by land, sea and air.
The gun has a maximum unassisted range of 24.7 km and an assisted range of 30 plus km. BAE claims that the gun can be used to fire 5 rounds per minute for up to 2 minutes. It can easily be lifted by helicopters like the Chinook, which India has already ordered from Boeing.