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India moves to finalize artillery deal with the U.S.
June 26, 2017
The BAE Systems M777. Photo credit: BAE

India moves to finalize artillery deal with the U.S.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) has approved a very important $750 million purchase for 145 BAE Systems M777 ultra-lightweight towed-howitzer guns from the U.S.

Under the contract, 120 of the 145 M777s will be assembled in India by Mahindra Group, a Mumbai-based manufacturing giant specializing in a wide range of areas, including defence.

Comment and Analysis

This program entered the procurement process almost a year ago in July 2015. The M777 acquisition is important for at least two central reasons:

First, the M777 howitzers themselves will form a critical component of the Indian Army’s ‘Mountain Strike Corps’, a forthcoming land forces entity meant to cover India’s nearly 3000km border with China. The M777 will offer India a capable – 155mm/39 calibre – gun that is light enough (at 4200kg) for a high level of mobility and flexibility; India’s C-130s and forthcoming CH-47 Chinooks will be of immense use in this regard.

The second reason is the ‘Made in India’ initiative. Although Mahindra Group will assemble the guns, BAE Systems did commit to commercial offsets to the amount of $200 million for the Indian economy. It will be worth seeing if India expands the acquisition to also build its lightweight artillery strength on its Western Front with Pakistan.

  • Ahmed Raja

    Plzzz Sir, do some analysis on PAK artillery and SPH. Plzzz I don’t think I ever read about it.

  • rtnguy

    india should by 2000 M777

  • Khalid Riaz

    Even if India does not expand the acquisition to cover western border with Pakistan, the lightweight guns and availability of heavy lift capability i.e. C-130 and Chinooks would imply that they are deployable anywhere at short notice. So even if they are meant for deployement along the Chinese border, the question is really academic.

    The same applies to many other weapon systems, including aircraft, ships, subs etc. The general pattern is that India and China respond to each other’s weapon acquisitions, Pakistan responds to Indian acquisitions, then India invoking two-front China-Pak threat responds to Pakistani acquisitions.

    So any increase in joint defence capability of Pakistan and China is fully responded to by India. The only thing is that there is no such “joint” defence capability. While some of Pakistan’s weaponery is sourced from China, the latter has no obligation to defend Pakistan.

    The present scenario and the very typical patterns of trilateral arms race is highly destabilizing. And all three sides are armed with nuclear weapons where deterrence is characterized by a similar destabilizing dynamic.

    It is highly desirable that the all the three goverments should make genuine efforts to bring peace and stability to the region.This region is home to 2-3 billion people. It has great economic potential if durable peace can somehow be achieved.

  • SP

    The guns seemed to be aimed at Kashmir. Pakistan needs to learn from India and involve the private sector in manufacturing arms in Pakistan or at least form a public sector organisation run by private sector professional management.

    • rtnguy

      No the guns are for arunachal. Guns for kashmir are called dhanush guns which were also approved

  • HINDOL BANDYOPADHYAY

    India never withdraw the support , to save these non Muslims kashmiris interest , till to the Quaymat .
    For this India is ready to kill & be killed in near future & to the long way to future time .
    This is the promised to the Almighty .

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