Exhaustive field trials on for ultra-light howitzersJuly 16, 2017 16:52
Exhaustive field trials are being carried out on two long-range ultra-light howitzers in Pokhran which the Indian Army received from the US after a gap of 30 years since the Bofors scandal broke out, an official said.
The test-firing of the guns is primarily aimed at collating and determining various critical data like trajectory, speed and frequency of fire of the M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers which are expected to be mostly deployed along the border with China.
The trials will continue till September.
The 155 mm, 39-calibre guns will fire Indian ammunition.
Three more guns will be supplied to the Army in September, 2018 for training. Thereafter, induction will commence from March 2019 onwards with five guns per month till the complete consignment is received by mid-2021.
India had last procured howitzers in the mid-1980s from Swedish defence major Bofors. The alleged pay-offs in the deal and its subsequent political ramifications had severely crippled the Indian Army's procurement of artillery guns.
India had struck a government-to-government deal with the US last November for supply of the 145 howitzers at a cost of nearly Rs 5,000 crore.