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Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Northeast Today

Army to deploy M777 ultra-light howitzers in Arunachal Pradesh: What makes these artillery guns so lethal

Army to deploy M777 ultra-light howitzers in Arunachal Pradesh: What makes these artillery guns so lethal
October 08
11:53 2019

NET Bureau

The Army is set to ramp up its artillery firepower by deploying the M777 howitzer guns in Arunachal Pradesh, a strategically crucial state that shares a long, disputed border with China. India had ordered 145 howitzers for USD 750 million from the US in 2016.

The guns are portable, and can be attached to helicopters. They are particularly suited to warfare in mountainous regions.

Let’s take a closer look at these ‘ultra-light’ howitzers.

About the gun

Manufactured and designed by BAE Systems, the M777 is a 155mm gun that can be rapidly deployed, and provides accurate fire support. Built using aluminium alloys and titanium, it is the lightest gun of its type, weighing about 3175-4000 kg.

The US Army and the Marine Core use this 39 calibre towed gun in their arsenal.

Significantly, the M777’s firepower is as good or better than other 155mm towed guns, but at less than half their weight.

Its maximum firing range is 24.7 km for standard rounds and 30 km for Extended Range Full Bore rounds.

Thanks to its smaller size and lighter weight, the M777 can be transported via helicopter and truck, and shifted into the battlefield quickly. Its size also helps in better storage.

A minimum crew of five is required to operate the gun. The US military is believed to have used the M777 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Digital Fire Control System of the M777 helps in self-location and navigation, cutting down the time to put it into action.

The gun will give the Indian military the ability to hit targets with more accuracy, and with less collateral damage.

When used with a Digital Gun Management System, the crew can destroy targets precisely and at multiple range distances.

Focus on LAC

India is stepping up the modernisation of its military’s weaponry and infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), with Arunachal a critical part of these efforts.

The news of deploying the M777 guns comes as the Army is holding a war simulation exercise at 14,000 feet in the northeastern state, about 100 km from the LAC. The war games will also test the capability of the Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs), which the military aims to deploy both at the Eastern and Western borders eventually.

Source: Times Now News

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