BAE Systems has --- after playing hard-to-get for a decent interval --- announced that it will field its FH-77B-05 towed howitzer in the latest round of selection trials announced by the MoD last month. Shown here is the gun, with the spectacular backdrop of Ladakh in winter. Appended below is today's press release by BAE Systems.
BAE SYSTEMS WILL BID FOR NEW 155MM TOWED HOWITZER PROGRAMME
New Delhi, India ─ BAE Systems has submitted a response to the Indian Ministry of Defence's latest RFI for towed 155mm howitzers, following previous tenders which were cancelled due to the inability of other potential suppliers to meet the tender conditions. The company's offer will be based on the FH77 B05 155mm howitzer, and a significant proportion will be manufactured in India to meet the specific needs of the Indian Army.
The new RFI was issued by MoD in last month, bringing an end to the previous procurement process that had reached the summer field trial phase. BAE Systems and the FH77 B05 was present and ready to take part in those cancelled trials in Rajasthan and the FH77 B05 currently remains in India ready to recommence the process.
FH77 B05 is a more powerful, updated and computerised version of the howitzer that performed so well in the Kargil conflict. FH77B05 has significantly greater range than its predecessor, but retains many of the features that endeared the system to its users in the Indian Army.
Andrew Gallagher managing director and chief executive of BAE Systems India said, "BAE Systems is confident that the FH77 B05 is the best heavy towed howitzer in the world today and meets the requirements of the Indian Army.
Gallagher continued, “If selected to meet this urgent need for the Indian Army, our FH77 howitzer will be largely manufactured by Defence Land Systems India, our joint venture with Mahindra and we hope this will be the first step to establishing this business as an artillery centre of excellence, for BAE Systems globally. Furthermore it will create highly skilled local jobs in India."
Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group said, "We're proud to be associated with a defence system that has such a history of defending our great nation. Working on this programme will bring world-leading artillery technology to India for the first time, setting in motion the process of making Defence Land Systems India a global force in artillery."
India is BAE Systems’ newest home market and the company is committed to a programme of investment and technology transfer in support of its strategy to become a major domestic player in the Indian defence sector.