BAE Systems down-selects Mahindra for Indian howitzers

By Ryan Maass   |   Feb. 17, 2016 at 12:55 PM
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NEW DELHI, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- BAE Systems has down-selected Mahindra as a business partner for the proposed M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer facility in India.

The down-selection followed bids from a number of Indian companies, supporting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India initiative, an effort to boost domestic production.

India and the United States are discussing a possible foreign military sale of howitzers to the Indian Army. BAE Systems still has to finalize details with Mahindra before a contract is signed, which would facilitate the construction of an assembly, integration and testing facility for M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzers.

The M777 is the first 155mm howitzer to weigh under 10,000 pounds. The lightweight variant is designed to produce a low thermal and radar signature, rapid emplacement and displacement, and a low silhouette.

The howitzer has been selected by both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army as their next-generation medium-force weapon. The United States, Canada and Australia have ordered over 1,000 of the guns, now in full-rate production for the U.S. Armed Forces.

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