India and US review military projects; M777 Howitzers to be signed soon

Sources said a number of key projects, including the one for 22 Predator Guardian drones, which is at an advanced stage of negotiations, were discussed besides other projects that have already been signed.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:November 17, 2016 7:07 pm
India Howitzer, India M777 Howitzer, India US howitzer deal, India US M777 Howitzer deal BAE systems’ 155mm towed howitzer, M777, on display during the Defexpo India 2014 in New Delhi. (IE Photo: Oinam Anand)

India and the US on Thursday reviewed the entire gamut of projects under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route as both sides look at closing key projects including the purchase of M777 Howitzers, the first deal for artillery guns since the Bofors scandal in 1980s. Defence sources said that the deal for 145 American Ultra-Light Howitzers, costing about Rs 5,000, has recently been cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey, Director of Defense Security Cooperation Agency, met with his counterpart here at the Defence Ministry. Sources said a number of key projects, including the one for 22 Predator Guardian drones, which is at an advanced stage of negotiations, were discussed besides other projects that have already been signed.

The visit comes ahead of a scheduled trip by US Defence Secretary of State Ashton Carter next month. However, sources indicated that the visit might be a tough one to make given the results of the US elections. Rixey’s visit was for the annual meeting to review defence acquisition and defence trade matters.

On the issue of M777, sources said India had sent a Letter of Request to the US government showing interest in
buying the guns which will be deployed in high altitude areas in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, bordering China. The US had responded with a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) and the Defence Ministry had in June looked into the terms and conditions and approved it.

The offsets, under which BAE Systems, manufacturer of the gun, will invest about USD 200 million, will be pursued
independently. While 25 guns will come to India in a fly away condition, the rest will be assembled at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility for the weapon system in India in partnership with Mahindra. The first two howitzers will be delivered within six months of the contract being inked, while rest will be delivered at the rate of two per month.

The howitzers that can be heli-lifted were first proposed to be bought from BAE about 10 years back.

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  1. B
    Nov 17, 2016 at 2:58 pm
    Predators are not for . Don't be fooling around you indiots. The more you fool around the more you expose your barb-aryan arrogance. The more you expose, the more you further your extinction.
    1. C
      Nov 18, 2016 at 3:26 pm
      Ballu: Let us "barb-aryans" decide that. You don't have to take the trouble of advising us. You should worry more about your own extinction.
      1. I
        Nov 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm
        Did you check with your mummy. He might have been just out of her bed room!
        1. I
          Nov 17, 2016 at 2:54 pm
          If Indics are in an advanced stage of negotiating for raptors, were they bluffing about the Ruston-II development.
          1. K
            Nov 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm
            Drones have two components of Technology. The Autonomous flying with man-in-loop via satellite that has to be interference resistant . The second component is that of the payload in form of intelligence gathering or missiles. I believe rustom-II is developing first set of capabilities. The raptors have both the components successfully deplo.
            1. K
              Kajan Lakhan
              Nov 19, 2016 at 1:58 am
              Indiots, that's very creative. Good one. a-Mexi-can. Amoronican.
              1. J
                Nov 18, 2016 at 1:08 pm
                Don't get confused , this is naval version drone ,which is unarmed version only for surveillance purpose only , on the other hand defence ministry is in talks for Armed version for army for more numbers , this is in initial stage .
                1. V
                  Vihari Naidu
                  Nov 17, 2016 at 5:57 pm
                  I think you shouldn't be entertaining fools. They will drag you to their level and defeat you with their stupidity.... This thinks that we shouldn't develop our own drones just because we are buying some other drones. Don't even waste your time giving a rational answer to such hicks....
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