Breaking: India Just Signed A landmark deal With US for 145, M777 howitzer artillery guns.

India has been investing heavily on its defense equipment. India has signed many deals with Russia and France However India and the United States today signed a landmark deal for 145 M777 howitzer artillery guns on Wednesday.

Indian industry will partner with the U.S. defense subsidiary of BAE Systems to locally assemble, integrate, and test the howitzers, supporting Prime Minister Modi’s Make-in-India campaign.

This deal marks a major step forward in the U.S.-India defense relationship and supports jobs in both our countries.

As major defense partners, the United States and India remain committed to enhancing military modernization efforts and building a security partnership based on trust, transparency, and shared interests.

800px-m777_howitzer_rearThe offsets, under which BAE Systems, manufacturer of the gun, will invest about USD 200 million, will be pursued independently. While 25 guns will come to India in a fly away condition, the rest will be assembled at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility for the weapon system in India in partnership with Mahindra.

The howitzers that can be heli-lifted were first proposed to be bought from BAE about 10 years back. “We are pleased that the Indian government is progressing the Foreign Military Sale of M777. This combat-proven system will provide the Indian Army with superior artillery capability at an advantageous price with early deliveries,” a statement by BAE Systems said.

The Army is in desperate need of new artillery guns. On the M777 guns, Defence sources have said that even though this deal would be through FMS, the “spares, maintenance and ammunition will be operated through Indian systems”. Sources said at least six tenders have been issued so far but were canceled due to a number of reasons including blacklisting and single vendor scenario.