Army formally inducts K9 Vajra and M777 howitzer guns

The Indian Army on Friday received K9 Vajra and M777 howitzer guns at a ceremony attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at Deolali artillery centre in Maharashtra.

M777 ultra-light howitzer (ULH) artillery guns have been manufactured by the British defence manufacturing firm BAE systems while K9 Vajra was developed by home-based Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Defence.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Aman Anand said the Army will be getting 100 K9 and 145 M777 guns in all over the next two years at a total cost of Rs 4,366 crore and Rs 5,000 crore respectively.

The guns were initially supposed to be inducted in the Army in September but couldn’t happen due to delays.

Initially developed for US Marine Corps and the US Army, the 52-calibre M777 has become a benchmark in the 155-mm Lightweight Towed Artillery System.

It is already in use in the US, Canadian, Australian armies.

India signed a Rs 5,000 crore deal with the US for acquisition of 145 guns under inter-governmental agreement. The deal included a ‘Made in India’ component with Mahindra as the Indian partner.

The Army would be having five regiments of K9 and the first regiment is expected be equipped by July 2019.

It is also going to raise seven regiments of M777 howitzers.

The event was also attended by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat.

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