India will soon get the 145 ultra-light BAE M777 Howitzer cannons from BAE Systems, US. The Defence Ministry has cleared the deal worth USD 750 million paving the way for the weapon to arrive in India almost 10 years after it was first zeroed in on.
The BAE M777 Howitzer.
Talks over the purchase of the guns started in 2006. In 2013, the US offered to sell the guns at USD 885 million to India. It was the price tag that prevented talks from moving ahead.
In May 2015, the Indian government sent a Letter of Request to the US expressing interest in buying the guns. Things move really fast from then on leading to the green signal from the DSA.
The US Army using a BAE ultra-light Howitzer.
Being made from titanium, the gun weighs 4,200 kg and is lightest among 155 mm guns. The 39 caliber towed gun is currently used by the US Marine Corps, the US Army, Canada and Australia.
The effective range of the cannon varies from 24 km to 40 km depending on the variant. It is one of the most advanced field guns in the world with low thermal and radar signatures among other technical advancements.
An Indian Army Bofors cannon. The Bofors was purchased some 30 years ago. Rediff
“Twenty-five guns will be delivered directly from the US in fly away condition while the rest 120 guns will be assembled at a proposed facility which BAE is launching in partnership with Mahindra,” officials said.
The Dhanush has a strike range of 35 kms and has been developed by Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata. A single Dhanush costs Rs.14 crore.
The Indian Government plans to modernize the entire Indian Army by 2027.