Defence News: Today we bring you details on the newly ordered M777 Howitzer that will not just decimate the enemy positions on the eastern theater in case of a conflict, but will do so with ease and precision. The deadly M77 weighs just 4200KG, made of titanium, this gun is 41% lighter than the regular guns of it’s class. 145 of these combat proven guns are coming to India thanks to a deal singed in December last year after an almost decade of haggling.
What is the M777 howitzer:
The M777 howitzer is an ultralight howitzer weighing just 4200 kg or 41% lighter than regular gun of its class. Manufactured by United kigdom’s BAE systems through its US-Based BAE Systems Land and Armaments group. M777 uses about 70% US-built parts including the gun barrel. To reduce weight the gun is built of Titanium. It has an advanced fire control system and can be lifted to the site of action using helicopters. Being light, it is also easy to transport. The gun is highly accurate as GPS guided munition can be used. The gun has seen action in Afghanistan against the Taliban.
How India got the M777 deal:
The Indian Army has also announced plans to acquire 145 guns for ₹30 billion (US$466 million), but purchase plans were overtaken when the procurement process was restarted in July 2010. On 26 June 2016, it was announced that 145 guns will be purchased by India for US$750 million.Finally the deal was completed in December 2016. India may go for a further 500 guns if required. A direct deal was made (govt-govt) as regular commercial models were proving inadequate and the gun was required in urgency. 25 guns to be delivered by mid-2017 made at their home plant and rest of them will be built under the “Make in India” program
The China angle:
Because India is raising a mountain strike corps for it’s army to counter Chinese aggression on it’s eastern and northern borders, guns of this capability are required. Guns that can be airlifted into battle and quickly deployed to action. Artillery is highly effective in such scenarios and having such capability is critical to winning battles. Adequate heavy fire support to troops can change the face of battle. India lacked these capabilities in the limited Indo-China war of 1962. This upgrade along with a host of others will make assault into enemy territory very much possible and effective at the same time.
The M777 is a very capable gun, coupled with the Chinook helicopters that India has contracted, this will form the backbone of mountain warfare. Chinooks can quickly airlift the M777 to the theater of war with ease. If the leadership wants, they can also introduce it on the Pakistan borders to answer the call of duty in mountains of J&K
In 2014 the US military made several upgrades to their M777 howitzers including new liquid crystal display units, software updates, improved power systems, and muzzle sensors for on board ballistic computer. Future upgrades include a touchscreen Chief Section Display, a new Mission System Computer, and a digital radio.
|Weight||4,200 kg||7,154 kg|
|Emplacement time||2 min 10 s||6 min 35 s|
|Displacement time||2 min 23 s||10 min 40 s|
|Number carried per C-130 Load||2||1|
|Crew||7+1||8 or more|
|Rate of fire||Normal: 2 rpm Maximum: 5 rpm||3 rpm sustained|
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