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Howitzers fail to make the cut?

delhi Updated: Feb 15, 2011 00:03 IST

Hindustan Times
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The M777 ultra-light howitzer, likely to be bought from the US, has failed on several parameters, according to a leaked classified report pertaining to the trials of the gun.

India had requested the US for purchase of 145 M777 howitzers worth more than R3,000 crore to sharpen the offensive capabilities of its mountain divisions. The army has ordered a probe into the leak.

The gun, manufactured by BAE Systems, has reportedly failed direct firing trials and air portability trials. The report also recorded non-compliance on parameters such as barrel life, minimum range and even the anti-skid mechanism.

India plans to buy the guns under Washington’s foreign military sales programme, a government-to-government method for selling US equipment. The M777 howitzer is in service with the US Army and US Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

Singapore Technologies had emerged as a strong contender for supplying its 155mm Pegasus lightweight howitzer to India. It was the only bidder for the contract two years back, as BAE Systems had not responded to the tender then.