Saturday, January 30, 2010

USA to Sell 145 M777 Howitzers to India

Asserting that its sale to India will "improve interoperability with US Soldiers and Marines," the US defense agency tasked with transfer of military hardware and promoting military-to-military ties has notified the US Congress of the Obama administration's intention to sell 145 M777 Howitzers to India in a deal worth $ 647 million.The mandatory notification follows a request from India for the light-weight towed Howitzer with Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing Systems (LINAPS), the first major artillery purchase by New Delhi after the star-crossed Bofors deal going back to the 1980s.

The $647 million deal will include warranty, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, US government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its January 22 notification."This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia," DSCA said.

The Agency said the howitzers will assist the Indian Army to develop and enhance standardization and surprisingly asserted it will also "improve interoperability with US Soldiers and Marines who use the M777 as their primary means of indirect fire." India will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces, it added.In its standard caveat, the Agency also assured the Congress that the "proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," and "there will be no adverse impact on US defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale."

The M777 purchase, seen in some quarters as a political decision favoring US, was not without the usual controversy that has come to dog almost every major defense acquisition in India.The gun trailed the front-runner, the Pegasus lightweight howitzer developed jointly by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Singapore Technology Kinetics, for several months, But Pegasus was knocked out of the race following reports of corruption and bribery that necessitated a CBI investigation.

While that inquiry is continuing, the government decided to go in for the US artillery given the Army's urgent requirement.The M777 howitzer was originally developed by the British Vickers group, but is now produced by BAE Systems Land Systems in the US. It has largely replaced the M198 howitzer 155mm towed howitzers in the US Marine Corps and US Army and has seen action since March 2008 in Afghanistan. US allies Canada and Australia are the only two countries the US has sold the guns to.

2 comments:

India is in danger of becoming American's proxy state.

Just saying....

Guys, Lets merge the countries together India & Pakistan. See what force they will make together, how economy will rise when these two neighbors will stop fighting and spending of military equipments. certainly lots of nation dont want this to ever happen, even lots of youth in these countries have poisened their minds with hatred against each other.

Lets stop discussing crap on this informative blog.

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