The Indian Defence Ministry has again postponed the purchase of towed long-range heavy artillery guns worth more than Rs120bn ($2.5bn).

The move follows the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recommendation to blacklist the defence firms that are allegedly involved in corruption cases.

Defence ministry officials said the field trials for the towed guns, which were originally scheduled for this month, would take a few more months to happen.

Singapore Technology Kinetics (STK) is one of the firms blacklisted for its alleged involvement in the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) scam.

The recent deferral is the third since 2002.

STK was competing against BAE Systems for the Indian Army project to deliver 400 155mm/52-calibre towed artillery guns as well as indigenous manufacture of another 1,180 howitzers after a transfer of technology.

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India is also due to acquire a range of ammunition including 1,580 towed guns, 814 mounted gun systems, 180 self-propelled wheeled guns and 100 tracked guns.

The blacklist prepared by the CBI includes STK, Israel Military Industries, Zurich-based Rheinmetall Air Defence, Russian Cooperation Defence, Delhi-based T S Kisan and Company and Ludhiana-based R K Machines Tools.