M777 deal to be signed soon

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

A long-de­layed deal for 145 M777 ul­tra-light how­itzers is to be signed shortly be­tween New Delhi and Washington. In­dia first ex­pressed in­ter­est in the BAE Sys­tems gun over seven years ago in Jan­uary 2006. The deal is ex­pected to be worth over $600 mil­lion, and will be In­dia’s first pur­chase of ar­tillery since the Bo­fors episode (notably, BAE Sys­tems now owns the Bo­fors ar­tillery com­pany in Swe­den).

Other than 145 M777 guns, the deal will also in­clude laser in­er­tial ar­tillery point­ing sys­tems (LINAPS), war­ranty, spare and re­pair parts, sup­port and test equip­ment, pub­li­ca­tions and tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion, main­te­nance, per­son­nel train­ing and train­ing equip­ment, US Government and con­trac­tor rep­re­senta- tives’ tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, en­gi­neer­ing and lo­gis­tics sup­port ser­vices, and other re­lated el­e­ments of lo­gis­tics sup­port, ac­cord­ing to the Pen­tagon’s De­fence Se­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (DSCA) that has pro­cessed the re­quest over the years. Notably, the MoD is cur­rently in con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions with Boe­ing to buy 15 CH-47F Chi­nook heavylift he­li­copters for the IAF—a plat­form that has demon­strated a ca­pa­bil­ity to trans­port the M777 as an un­der­slung pay­load—a manda­tory re­quire­ment for the ul­tra-light re­quire­ment in the In­dian Army.

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