BAE Systems has partnered with India-based Mahindra on an $885m contract to supply 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers (ULH) to the Indian army.
Under the terms of the deal, the companies will develop an assembly, integration and test (AIT) facility to enable better access to maintenance, spares and support for the M777.
BAE Systems Weapon Systems vice-president and general manager Dr Joe Senftle said: "As a founding partner of defence manufacturing in India, BAE Systems is pleased to partner with Mahindra on our offer to develop an assembly, integration and test facility in India. The facility is a fundamental part of the M777 production line."
In 2013, India requested a foreign military sale (FMS) of 145 M777 ULH systems from the US government.
As part of the sale, India requested laser inertial artillery pointing systems (LINAPS), spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, as well as engineering and logistics support services.
Senftle added: "We will continue to support the two Governments to progress to contract agreement so that we may begin the process of ‘Make in India’ for M777."
Last year, the company submitted a proposal offering to further ‘indigenise’ the M777 weapon system.
The M777 is an advanced self-propelled artillery system that i designed to deliver up to five rounds per minute at ranges of 24.7km with unassisted rounds and 30km with rocket-assisted rounds.
The howitzers are expected to help modernise India’s armed forces and augment its operations in hazardous conditions.
Image: The M777 is an advanced self-propelled artillery system, designed to deliver up to five rounds in one minute at ranges of 24.7km. Photo: © 2016 BAE Systems.