Field trials are being conducted on two long-range ultra-light howitzers , which the Army had recieved from US after 30 years of Bofors scandal.
The M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers (ULH), having a maximum range of 30 km are being tested in Rajasthan’s Pokharan firing range in order to determine their critical data like trajectory, speed and frequency of fire. The ULHs are likely to be deployed along the border of China.
The trials will continue till September for formation of the ‘firing table’ which is a part of induction process, an Army official told news agency PTI.
Indian ammunition will be fired from these 155 mm, 39-calibre guns. The Army will receive three more guns next year for training. The induction process will begin from March 2019 onward with five guns per month till the complete consignment is received by mid-2021.
The Army is in dire need of these howitzers considering the security situation of the country.
It is important to note that India had last procured howitzers from Swedish defence major Bofors in the mid-1980s. The alleged pay-offs in the deal and its consequences had badly affected Indian Army’s procurement of artillery guns.