After receiving the first set of guns in May 2017, the Army is now conducting extensive field trials for Howitzer guns at Pokhran firing range.
According to PTI, the test-firing is aimed at collating and determining various critical data like trajectory, speed and frequency of fire of the M-777 A-2 Ultra-Light Howitzer Guns that the Army purchased from US after 30 years of Bofors scandal.
An M777 firing. Bloomberg
A representational image showing US troops firing an ultra-light Howitzer Gun. Times of India
The 159 mm, 39-calibre guns will fire Indian ammunition. A total of 145 guns will be supplied by the US and the next batch is scheduled to arrive in September 2018. Guns are likely to be inducted in 2019 and will keep on coming till mid-2021.
An army official commented:
The trials have been going on smoothly and various data are being collected for formation of the firing table.
Twenty-five guns will reach India in fly-away condition while the rest will be assembled in India by the partnership between BAE Systems and Mahindra Defence. The BAE Systems had proposed Indian government to buy guns that can be air-lifted ten years back.