Tahlka News Bureau
New Delhi: Two M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULH) arrive today to boost the Indian Army on Thursday, which will be put through trails to prepare them form induction.
"Two guns have arrived in New Delhi from the United States," officials confirmed.
Thesea are the first two new pieces of artillery to join the Army after a gap of three decades.
The 155cm, 39 caliber toward artillery gun made of titanium and aluminium alloy and weighs four tonnes, enabling it to be transported under slung by helicopters.
India last inducted the Swidish Bofors i the 1980's, the deal of which kicked up a major controversy and stalled the Army's artillery modernisation programme. However, the Bofors guns won the Kargil conflict for India and continues to be the Army's mainstream.
In November 2016, India signed the Letter of Acceptance (LoC) with the U.S. government under he Foreign Military Sales (FM) programme for 145 BAE Systems - build M777A2 artillery gun in a deal worth $737 million.
As part of the agreement, two guns were to be deliver within six months for calibration and preparing range tables by the Indian Army.
"The guns have ear long trails ahad of them. They will first go to the Pokhran ranges," a senior officers said.
Another officer explained that range tables are required when integrated local ammunition in use by the Army with the gun and calibrating it against a whole lot of variables like weather, temperature.
As per a BAE System spokesperson, the two guns have landed in India "ahead of the schedule".
The official delivers will begin after 21 months of the initial payment which, defence officials said, would be done about five weeks from the signing of the LoA. Moreover, form the 145 guns, 25 will be imported and the remaining assembled in India intrapartnership with the Mahindra group.
However, after three decades development in the Army's artillery is finally on track. The M777 are still in its initial stages, while the Dhanush guns, the upgraded versions of the Bofors , are in the final stages of trails, and induction will begin very soon.