India Eyes Ultra-Light Howitzers

5 January 2010 (Last Updated January 5th, 2010 18:30)

The Indian Army intends to acquire 145 air-mobile ultra-light howitzers (ULHs) from the US under a $628m military deal. The plan is to acquire different types of 155mm / 52-calibre guns as part of the army's artillery modernisation programme under a $4bn direct government-to-government de

The Indian Army intends to acquire 145 air-mobile ultra-light howitzers (ULHs) from the US under a $628m military deal.

The plan is to acquire different types of 155mm / 52-calibre guns as part of the army's artillery modernisation programme under a $4bn direct government-to-government deal, which has been stuck in different stages.

The Indian Army will use the ultra-light howitzers to ensure that artillery can be easily deployed in forward inaccessible areas using helicopters.

The army's two new mountain divisions for the eastern front with China, each with around 15,000 soldiers, will also be equipped with howitzers.

An Indian Defence ministry official said that an army team would soon go to the US to witness how the gun performed in trials there, and would later hold trials in India to see if the gun was suitable for them.

BAE Land Systems will supply its M-777A1 ultra-light howitzers for Indian Army under the foreign military sale.