New Delhi : The high powered Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared a Rs 3,000-crore deal to buy 145 ultra light howitzers from the United States.
Confirming the decision on government-to-government deal, sources in Defense Ministry told United News of India UNI that India will procure M777 howitzers from the US under its foreign military sale program.
The DAC’s decision will now be sent to the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the final go ahead. Once cleared by the CCS, this will be first purchase of the artillery gun for the Army 25 years after the controversial Bofors gun was inducted in 1986.
The decision on purchasing the artillery gun has come at a time when Indian Army is facing a severe crunch of such weapons as no new gun have been inducted for the past 25 years.
The lighter and smaller gun can be air transported by heavy lift helicopters or truck with ease. These guns were first fielded in Iraq in May 2007 and in Afghanistan in February 2008.
Saraswat Committee, which looked into technical aspects of field trials of guns, had recently submitted its report to the Indian Defense Ministry, recommending the purchase.