Indian Army Deploys Easily-Transportable M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers Along LAC In Arunachal Pradesh 

Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured, Northeast


  • NET Web Desk

The Indian Army has deployed easily transportable M-777 ultra-light howitzers in mountainous regions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.

Due to the ongoing border impasse with China, the Indian Army is continuously bolstering its firepower in the forward locations of Arunachal Pradesh; after deploying the howitzers along sensitive areas of Ladakh sector.

India has been ramping up its overall military might in all strategically key areas along the nearly 3,500-km-long LAC after the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020 that triggered a major escalation in tensions between the Indian and Chinese armies.

Army officials mentioned that the deployment of M-777 howitzers coupled with additional air assets including unmanned aerial vehicles, military aircraft and surveillance equipment has enhanced India’s military preparedness in the Arunachal Pradesh sector.

The Army faced the difficulty of transporting heavy artillery guns in the mountainous regions but the deployment of ultra-light howitzers has addressed the challenge.

“The ultra-light M-777 can be transported quickly in Chinook helicopters. We now have the flexibility of quickly moving them from one place to another based on operational requirements,” informed a senior official.

“Now we are in a much better position to deal with any eventualities,” he added.

The Army deployed M-777 guns in Bum-La last year but now the howitzers are being pressed into service in Arunachal Pradesh’s RALP area, comprising several key mountainous regions.

The M-777 artillery guns, having a maximum range of 30 km and manufactured by the BAE Systems, were first received by the Army in 2018. The procurement had come after a 30-year wait for new artillery guns since the Bofors scandal.

India ordered 145 M-777 guns from the US under a USD 750 million deal in 2016.

The addition of upgraded L70 air defence guns to the existing Bofors guns in the forward locations in Arunachal Pradesh also added additional might to the Army’s combat prowess.

The L-70 guns were originally manufactured by Swedish defence firm Bofors AB in the 1950s and India started inducting over 1,000 of them in the 1960s.

The guns have been upgraded by state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). A series of measures has also been undertaken to boost its operational capabilities in the eastern sector bordering China.

The Army has been putting an equal amount of focus on enhancing operational capability in the Northern as well as eastern sectors, officials said.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry. The tension escalated following a deadly clash in Galwan Valley.

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