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Indian Army Modernization - How 22000 Crores Plan is working for India

18 May 2017

The M-777 ultra-light howitzers arrived in India as part of 145-gun order sealed in a government-to-government deal with the United States for 700 million US dollars.

Over the next two days, the M777 ultra light weight howitzers will be transported by road to the Indian Army's firing range in Pokhran, Rajasthan.

On November 30, India signed the Letter of Agreement and Acceptance (LOA) with the United States to purchase 145 M777 ultra-light artillery guns, through the foreign military sale (FMS) route. The Rs2,900-crore government-to-government deal under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route was completed in November a year ago.

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This is the first induction of the howitzers after the Bofors scandal which was revealed 30 years ago.

The last time the army inducted a modern artillery gun was in the late 1980s, when Bofors were purchased by a Swedish company Bofors AB.

The Army plans to equip 169 regiments with 3,503 guns by 2020 but acquisition plans, which include indigenously manufactured guns, have been delayed considerably.

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The Indian Army plans to use these Howitzers in defensive troop deployment spread across the country's vast rugged terrain.

The government said that after firing tables will get ready, three more guns will be received in the second stage in September 2018 for training. "Five guns will then be delivered every month till all 145 are inducted by June 2021". The howitzers have a maximum strike range of 30km. Out of 145 guns, BAE will deliver 25 guns and rest will be assembled in India by Mahindra.

The M777 ultra-light howitzers will be mostly will be deployed in high-altitude areas in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, bordering China. Therefore, they can be carried by CH-47 Chinook helicopters and also on heavy lift aircraft like the C-17 Globemaster and the C-130 Hercules transporters.

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Indian Army Modernization - How 22000 Crores Plan is working for India