Friday, January 16, 2015

'Make in India' Revives M777 155mm / 39 Caliber Towed Howitzer Deal

M777 at DefExpo 2012

Janes reported on January 14, 2015 that BAE Systems has offered to transfer its entire M777 155mm/39-caliber howitzer assembly line from the US to India.

"Encouraged by Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi's 'Make in India' call, we have developed and submitted a strengthened proposal on the M777 case [to India's Ministry of Defense]. This includes a higher degree of indigenisation on the weapon system," BAE Systems said in a statement

"We have included in our offer the transfer of the [M777] Assembly Integration & Test (AIT) capabilities into India," the statement added.

Interestingly, the DRDO has lately been upset by the Indian Army's failure to place orders for the Arjun Catapult system which the DRDO developed in quick time against a specific Army request by mounting the towed 130 mm Russian field gun on an Arjun Mk-1 MBT chassis.

The Army understandably prefers the 4,218 kg, helicopter transportable, titanium built, US howitzer with good range and accurate ammunition over the nearly 45-t Arjun Catapult behemoth that could never equip the Army's mountain divisions.

It may be recalled that in July, 2014, Raksha Mantri Arun Jaitley had told the parliament that the 145 ultra-light howitzers deal had hit a dead end.

"The case has not progressed due to cost issues and because the vendor has not been able to come up with a proposal fully-compliant to the offset requirements," Jaitley said. [via PIB]

IDP Sentinel Members can read additional details about the proposed M777 procurement at the link below.

BAE Systems M777 155mm / 39 Caliber Towed Howitzer for Indian Army (IDP Sentinel)