The first of the lot under the modernization scheme of the Indian Army, two M-777 ultra-light howitzers guns from the US have arrived in New Delhi early Thursday morning.
Defense sources revealed that the guns are being brought by a chartered aircraft from the USA and will reach Delhi tomorrow. They will then be taken to Pokhran for a series of test fires.
The sources said,
The firing tables, with the guns being tested for different kinds of Indian ammunition with bi-modular charges, will take some time to be formulated.
All 145 air-mobile Howitzer guns, worth 4784 crore, will be inducted in the Army by 2021. The delivery will be escalated from March 29. The source added,
Five guns will be delivered every month till all 145 are inducted by June 2021. While the first 25 guns will be imported, the rest 120 will be assembled in India with artillery-manufacturer BAE Systems selecting Mahindra as its business partner here.
The guns have a strike range between 24-40 kilometers, depending upon the ammunition used. They will be majorly used as a deterrent against China. Weighing a little over 4 tonnes, the titanium-made guns can easily be airlifted to altitudes up to 16,000 feet. These will eventually form the backbone of the 17 Mountain Strike Corps which is being equipped to tackle China in case of a war.
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— Dinakar Peri (@dperi84) May 18, 2017