The last time Indian Army acquired artillery guns was way back in 1980 from Bofors AB, a Swedish company. Despite the fact that Indian Army was severely short on much needed artillery guns, which form the most important part of Indian Army at the border, none of the governments in last 36 years had the guts to go ahead and procure any artillery guns. The reason ? BOFORS SCANDAL !! Yes. The controversial Bofors scandal alleged by V.P.Singh, which could never be proved, killed the morale of successive governments one after another that none of them even dared to procure artillery guns or any major arms even when the army was facing severe arms crisis at the border.
Finally there is a government which has the will power to go ahead and procure the much needed arms for the security of the nation. Not only this, it is probably the first time in the history of the country that there has been no involvement of middle-men in any of the major defense deals. India has signed the much needed deal to procure 145 M-777 ultra-light Howitzer artillery guns at a cost of Rs 5000 crore from the United States of America. The Howitzer artillery guns will be deployed on Pakistan and China borders. These powerful artillery guns will give much needed fire-power to Indian Army to talk tough with Pakistan.
India, the US sign a deal for 145 M 777 lightweight #howitzers for Indian Army: Sources.
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) November 30, 2016
25 M-777 Howitzer guns will come to India in a fully configured condition, the rest will be assembled at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility for the weapon system in India, which will be done in partnership with Indian company Mahindra. The first two howitzers are expected to be delivered within a few months, and then every month, 2 Howitzers will be delivered. This is a much needed deal to protect the nation by strengthening the Indian Army at the borders of Pakistan and China.
It is currently one of the most advanced and powerful artillery guns present in the world. The M777 is smaller and 42% lighter weighing less than 4100 kg than other artillery guns of the similar size. Most of the weight reduction is due to the use of titanium. The lighter weight and smaller size allows the M777 to be transported by lightweight trucks and helicopters with ease, thereby providing increased mobility and more compact storage over other artillery guns. The minimal gun crew required is five, compared to a previous nine. The M777 uses a digital fire-control system to provide navigation, pointing and self-location, allowing it to be put into action quickly. The M777 may be combined with the Excalibur GPS-guided munition, which allows accurate fire at a range of up to 25 miles (40 km). This almost doubles the area covered by a single battery to about 1,250 km2.
After the much acclaimed Rafael deal , procuring bullet-proof jackets and going ahead transparently with other defense deals to infuse life in all the wings of defense forces, Narendra Modi led government has finally inked the deal to procure 145 Howitzer guns which will give immense power to the Indian Army.