India offers $647 mn for 145 US-built Howitzers | world | Hindustan Times
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India offers $647 mn for 145 US-built Howitzers

world Updated: Jan 28, 2010 12:02 IST

The Pentagon has notified the US Congress of a possible sale of 145 state-of-the-art light-weight towed Howitzers to India. The deal is worth $647 million.

Describing India as an important force for "political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia", the Defence Security Cooperation Agency told the Congress: "India intends to use the Howitzers to modernise its armed forces and enhance its ability to operate in hazardous conditions."

"The Howitzers will assist the Indian Army to develop and enhance standardisation and to improve interoperability with US soldiers and marines who use the M777 as their primary means of indirect fire," it said.

The sale of M777 155 mm Howitzers will also contribute to the US's foreign policy and national security by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship, it said.

India will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces, the agency said, adding the sale will not alter basic military balance in the region.

Besides the US Marine with 380 such systems and US National Guard with 273 of them, Australia (57 guns) and Canada (12) are the only other countries who have been supplied this military equipment by the US.