Jaipur: Following the procurement of the ultra light Howitzer M777 from the United States, two of the artillery pieces were brought to the Pokhran field firing range here for trial.
The trial took place in the presence of team of American members and its creator BAE Systems’ engineers. A group of the Indian Army’s artillery unit, under the leadership of Lt. Col. Saurabh, started the development of firing table since Tuesday.
Firing was done by the machine on Tuesday night and indirect off fire was performed on Wednesday. The Centre under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme sealed the deal with the U.S. government on November 17 which is worth Rs. 4,700 crore.
The FMS programme eliminates the role of all the brokers, who can be involved, and ensures transparent sales, which take place one on one between the governments. This, in turn, blocks the chances of any scams that the transactions may lead to. This deal is the first since Bofors scandal broke out in the 1980s.
India has ordered 145 guns, out of which two were delivered in May. The delivery of the remaining will take another five or six months. In addition to this, only 25 guns will be delivered by the U.S., remaining 120 will be assembled by Mahindra Defence under the government’s flagship programme ‘Make in India.’
These artillery guns with the range of 30 kilometers will bolster the Indian Army’s firing might especially against China in the eastern front and in out-of-area contingency. It will be deployed on mountains in the eastern border with China.