After a 30-year wait for new artillery guns since the Bofors scandal, the Indian Army has received the first two ultra light howitzers from the US yesterday.
This is a part of an order for 145 long-range guns which will be mostly deployed on borders. The M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers, ULH, having a maximum range of 30 km were being taken to Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan for test firing.
While 25 guns will come in a fly-away condition, the rest will be assembled in India by the BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence. The 155 mm, 39-calibre guns will fire Indian ammunitions.
The Indian Army is in urgent need of ULH so it had proceeded through government-to-government deal with the US in November last year for supply of the 145 howitzers at a cost of nearly 5,000 crore rupees. India had last procured howitzers in the mid-1980s from Swedish defence major Bofors.