One of the two M-777 howitzer guns acquired by the Army from the US was damaged in an accident at Pokhran field firing ranges in Rajasthan. The incident took place on September 2, sources said, when the US-manufactured gun was firing Indian ammunition for compilation of range tables.
According to army sources, the projectile, which was fifth in the series, exited the barrel in multiple places. The accident damaged the barrel of the gun. The extent of the damage is being assessed by a Joint Investigation Team of the army and BAE Ltd, the manufacturer of the gun. Firing of other M-777 guns for compiling firing tables has been suspended, pending the analysis of the joint investigation team.
As reported by The Indian Express on May 18, the first two pieces of the M-777 155mm/ 39 calibre ultra light howitzers landed in India as part of a deal between the Indian and US governments through the Fixed Military Sales route in November last year. These two artillery guns were firing Indian ammunition at the Pokhran ranges to prepare range tables — a calibration for target acquisition with various types of ammunition used with the guns.