As tensions continue to rise along the India-Pakistan border after India accused its neighbor of firing and killing five Indian soldiers last week, New Delhi is said to be in its final leg of procuring the much-anticipated howitzers.
The U.S Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a Foreign Military Sale of 145 state-of-the-art 155mm towed Howitzers worth $885 million to India.
In 2012, Indian government has at long last approved the M-777 howitzer deal nearly 27 years after the controversial sale of the howitzers from Switzerland-based AB Bofors scandalized the country.
BAE Systems was awarded the contract last year to supply the light weight howitzers to India. Known as the Excalibur has a maximum range of 40km and accuracy of 10m. The M777 matches the firepower of current generation 155mm towed systems at less than half the weight. The Howitzer is equipped with a 39-calibre barrel. The muzzle velocity (at Charge 8 super) is 827m/s.
The Towed Artillery Digitization (TAD) artillery improvement package including a digital fire control system with onboard ballistic computation, navigation, pointing and self-location, providing greater accuracy and faster reaction times. TAD also includes a powered projectile rammer, a breech mounted laser ignition system, replacing conventional chemical primers and electric drives for the howitzer’s traverse and elevation.