Upgrading artillery: India cuts $560 million arms deal with US

This is the first time since 1986 that India is buying howitzers.

Afp May 13, 2012


India has contracted a $560 million deal to buy 145 howitzer guns from BAE Systems of the United States in order to upgrade its antiquated military hardware, an official said on Saturday.

India is updating its military capabilities with hardware worth billions of dollars in the face of long-standing tensions with neighbours China and Pakistan.

The contract for the ultra-light howitzers was awarded on Friday to BAE Systems Inc of the United States, a unit of the Britain-based BAE Systems Plc, a senior defence ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The government will spend 30 billion rupees ($560 million) on the field guns, the official said. The howitzers, with a maximum range of 30 kilometres, will be used by the army’s mountain artillery divisions along India’s high-altitude frontiers.

In India, China is increasingly seen as the main focus of its ambitious military modernisation and procurement policy.

The military is acquiring a slew of new equipment from combat aircraft to submarines and in March, the country announced military spending for the current financial year of $40 billion.

Saturday’s announcement marks the first time in more than a quarter of a century that India is buying howitzers.

India last purchased guns for the army in 1986 when it bought 410 howitzer field guns from the Swedish arms giant AB Bofors.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.


Lala Gee | 10 years ago | Reply

@All Indian Trolls:

I don't care how many people in your country are living below poverty line, or how many sleep on the foot path, or how much your big cities lack the basic hygiene, or how many millions don't have the toilet facility. It is your money, spend it where you want it. If you ask me, I will tell you to spend 100 times more on arms purchase. In the end, these will get rusted or melt down. Good luck.

Pollack | 10 years ago | Reply

Pakistan has bigger and more expensive guns which was bought from the US by sending the US aid money to Pakistani poor back to the US. India unfortunately has to pay from its own pockets.

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