Indian DAC Clears 145 M777 Howitzers For $750 Million, Reviews Several Other Schemes

  • Our Bureau
  • 05:38 AM, June 26, 2016
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Indian DAC Clears 145 M777 Howitzers For $750 Million, Reviews Several Other Schemes
M777 ultra-light howitzer

India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved purchase of 145 M777 ultra-light howitzer guns for $750 million from US and also cleared bulk production of 18 Dhanush guns among 19 proposals included in the discussions during the meeting Saturday.

DAC reviewed large numbers of on-going schemes worth approximately INR 28,000 crore ($4.1 billion). The DAC noted satisfactory progress in the indigenous manufacture of Dhanush guns. The council has agreed on three guns for user exploitation by June 30 and three more by September end.

The DAC approved bulk production clearance of 18 guns Dhanush to enable better exploitation and setting up of indigenous manufacturing facility.

It also reviewed procurement case of SR-SAM and Very Short Range Air Defence Systems (VSHORAD) guns. It was decided to keep on-going acquisition process in multivendor situation

The council while considering AFV protection and counter measure system for T-90, directed it to be an indigenous make project to strengthen future capabilities.

The DAC approved Rs. 386 crore ($56 million) project for mode of shipyard at the navy dockyards indigenously.

It approved six next generation missile vessels at Rs. 13,600 crore ($2 billion) and five diving support craft indigenous at Rs. 150 crore($22 million).

The council approved project stimulators at Rs. 500 crores ($73 million) for and also setting up of integrated electronic warfare range at Rs. 1300 crore($191 million).

The initial price notified by the US for the M777 ultra-light howitzers in 2012 was $694 million. The manufacturer (BAE Systems) has been seeking 10 per cent hike on the four-year-old price. The negotiation price is about $750 million.

The tender will be for associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support. The gun will come with laser inertial artillery pointing systems (LINAPS), maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services.

The Army intends to use the howitzers to modernise its forces and enhance its ability to operate in hazardous conditions.

In India, the BAE Systems has tied up Mahindra as its business partner for its proposed in-country assembly, integration and test (AIT) facility for the M777 Howitzer.

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