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Rediff.com  » News » In first after Bofors, army buys howitzers for 3000 cr

In first after Bofors, army buys howitzers for 3000 cr

May 11, 2012 18:46 IST

The defence ministry has cleared the acquisition of 145 Ultra Light Howitzers from the United States under a Rs 3,000 crore deal, according to sources.

This is the first such agreement to procure artillery guns in over 25 years after the scam-ridden Bofors deal.

The deal has taken two years to go through. 

The guns are ultra-light, can be transported by air and are used by US troops in Afghanistan.

As per reports, the government aims at buying at least 145 guns at a total cost of $650 million. The purchase of the guns will be reportedly made through the US government's Foreign Military Sales programme.

The purchase of M777 ultra-light howitzers has been cleared nearly 27 years after the controversy over the purchase of howitzers from Switzerland-based AB Bofors.  

The M777 was deployed by the US Army and Marine Corps to Afghanistan in December 2007 and to Iraq in 2008.

This is the first such deal to procure artillery guns in over 25 years after Bofors. I

In fact, BAE Land Systems, the firm that is selling the guns, has bought over the erstwhile Swedish firm Bofors that sold 410 155mm howitzers to India in 1986.

The army has not bought a single big gun since the last of the Bofors howitzer was delivered in 1987.