Three decades after Bofors, India gets first modern 155mm artillery guns


New Delhi: For the first time in three decades, the Indian Army has now exorcised the ominous Bofors ghost haunting its artillery modernization plans for the last 30 years. In the first modern 155mm artillery guns to be inducted by the Army since the 1980s, two of the 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers ordered from the US will touch down here on Thursday morning.

Defence sources on Wednesday said the two howitzers, which will come in a chartered aircraft from the UK, will be taken to the Pokhran ranges for testing and “compilation of the firing tables” for subsequent use,” said a source.

The last artillery guns that India bought were the controversial Swedish Bofors guns in the mid-1980s.

The Army has massive plans to upgrade its artillery formations, and is in the process of acquiring five different types of artillery guns under a 22,000 crore rupee modernization plan. The guns that arrived today will be used to shore up defences in high-altitude areas against China.

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