To bring out new changes in the army, the decision of inducting M777 was taken. As few guns have been imported in India will be tested by the top brass of the Indian Army and recommending its relevance and usage with respect to the Indian requirements. A trail team from Jaipur has arrived in Pokhran to test the M-777 howitzer gun. The team is making a firing table to record every shot of the gun and capturing respective details of the shot. The deal describes the making of the firing table of the trail shots where officials from US, Switzerland and BAE systems were present at the spot to assist the army personals in making the records. The records will help the official to get the actual accuracy and striking power and range of the gun. Currently, 4 types of 155mm ammunition are being tested over the gun.
The Indian government has ordered 145 M-777 guns from the US, which each cost about 30 million. On 30 November 2016, India signed a letter of agreement and acceptance with the US to buy 145 guns. India had received 2 howitzer guns on 18th may, which remove the draught of the howitzer gun induction of three decades after Bofors. The army officials revealed that 3 more guns will be sent to India for training in September 2018 and the left guns will be sent from March 2019 at 5 guns per month, till the complete procurement of the guns. About 120 guns will be sent to India in semi-knocked down conditions which will be assembled by Mahindra in India.
About The Gun
The gun is a US based gun having a strike range of 40kms. It is a towed 155mm artillery gun, which is an enhanced version of M-198. It is also being used by Australia, Saudi Arabia Canada etc. With a spill trail carriage, it has a firing rate of 2 rounds per minute and 5 rounds per minute at maximum level. It has a pickup time of 2 minutes and can get into the action mode in just 3 minutes. The major plus point of this gun is that it uses all kind of 155mm ammunition. It weighs just 1/3 of the normal 155mm guns like Bofors, which weighs 11 tons and easy to airlift and transport. It is also small in size which makes it easy to transport and bring to action. Its settlement posture makes it hard for the enemy to detect its presence.
The gun is expected to bring new and enhanced changes in the Indian army as Bofors did during the Kargil war. The gun has been selected after keeping several crucial points in mind. It is also seen as a diplomatic and military link between India and US who are good friends from the end of the cold war. Pakistan has also inducted such guns from the US in 2009. M-777 will play a crucial role in strengthening the border security and averting short range threats bringing a new level of the security.