Jaipur: Two American Howitzer guns have reached Jaisalmer on Tuesday for field trial. A five member team from US is also accompanying the recently procured artillery guns.
The trial is expected to begin in next two-three weeks and will continue for one-two months. Last week, an artillery team had also reached for the trial.
According to reliable sources, two American M777 ultra-light howitzer guns landed in New Delhi last Thursday and were sent to Jaisalmer through military trucks that reached Pokhran Field Firing Range on Tuesday late evening.
Recently, a MoU was inked with US for 145 such guns and now preparations have been started for trials. These howitzers will be tested for firing at various distances and different concepts. Sources hinted about the possibility of Chinak helicopters’ visit to Jaisalmer which will be carrying those guns to other locations.
It is to be mentioned that, Army has received howitzer guns after a prolonged 38 years’ wait. This is the second time Army is receiving any foreign made guns after Bofors in 1986.
Sources said, being ultra-light these guns can be moved from one place to another with ease especially to Jammu & Kashmir, Leh, Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh through choppers at an altitude of 16, 000 feet. It is expected that after Swedish Bofors, American howitzer is going to strengthen Army’s ability and capability.
Sources further said, from March 2019, five howitzer guns will be arriving every month under a $737 million deal. Total 145 guns will delivered by June 2021. First 25 guns will be imported from US while remaining 120 guns will be assembled in India under a joint venture by Mahindra and BAE system, an US based firm.
The howitzer guns will have optical fire control and can hit the target at a distance of 40kms. With digital fire control, howitzers can fire five rounds in a minute.