UK-based company BAE Systems has signed an agreement with PTC Industries for the production of titanium castings for the Indian Army’s M777 ultra-lightweight howitzer (ULH).

As part of this agreement, the two companies will develop a tightly controlled fabrication process to support the manufacturing of the complex lightweight titanium castings.

Development of this process will further ensure that the same M777 ULH titanium castings and parts can be produced in the future.

Associated manufacturing work will be performed at PTC Industries’ facility in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

This agreement will also support the Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative by manufacturing major structures indigenously. 

Production of the first set of sub-systems will be carried out by the end of this year.

BAE Systems also claimed that the company is planning to advance the manufacturing of all the three major structures, including the saddle, cradle, and lower carriage, that form the basis of the M777 ultra-lightweight gun system.

BAE Systems Weapon Systems UK general manager Duncan Stevenson said: “The production process at PTC Industries is being developed and qualified to deliver the long-term support for the 145 M777s we are delivering to India.

“This agreement will allow BAE Systems and PTC Industries to jointly provide major structures to support the spares and repair programme required to keep the guns available for the Indian Army.”

BAE Systems is also intending to produce a 155mm 52-calibre barrel for the ULH in India, to further enhance the Indian Army’s artillery capability.

India will be the first international customer to have a 52-calibre 155mm platform, weighing 5,800kg.