M777 Howitzer Deal - Discussion and Updates

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by bhagat, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. bhagat
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    bhagat 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence has sought answers from the Army on the leak of the trial report of ultra light howitzers as an embarrassed A K Antony on Tuesday sought to reassure that acquisitions would not be allowed to be manipulated.

    This is the second case in recent months when documents relating to a high-ticket deal came out of the realm of secrecy exposing vulnerability of acquisition process in which billions are at stake. In the first case, the MoD itself was responsible when a file relating to IAF’s multi-role combat jet contract was found roadside. Though inquiry revealed the file did not contain any confidential information that could have jeopardised an estimated $11 billion deal, it established that rules of handling sensitive documents were flouted.

    The Defence Minister has now asked its official to be more careful. The MoD officials said howitzer acquisition process would come to a halt until conclusion of Army’s high level probe. This meant yet another setback for Army’s plan to add new artillery to compensate for gun drought since Bofors scandal broke out

    In January, Army chief V K Singh had hoped that 145 M777 ultra-light howitzers, manufactured by BAE Systems and offered through the foreign military sales by the US for $647 million, would be acquired within this year. The Army officials tried to explain that the five pages from a comprehensive trial report were not enough to give an impression about the results.

    During the trials, Indian ammunition was fired from the guns, said officials. What has come to light is the fact that by circulating unsigned papers, an attempt was being made to get the contract scrapped. A similar attempt was made around three months ago when some media persons received unsigned documents claiming that the M777 deal should not be finalised as the gun was not required by the Army.

    The government had decided to take the US offer of direct sale after another vendor, Singapore Technologies, was black-listed on allegations of corruption.

    Howitzer deal put on hold till Army files repor | Howitzer deal | AK Antony | Indian Express

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  2. One
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    One 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Re: Howitzer deal put on hold till Army files report

    I am tried of hearing the news about howitzers getting postphoned, canceled, retender. By the time howitzer fans have their babies arrive in this world they would first utter the word "howitzers" rather than mama or papa and the doctors would diagnose this as "howitzer syndrome.":hang2: Courtesy GOI.
     
  3. CONNAN
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    CONNAN Major ELITE MEMBER

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    Re: Howitzer deal put on hold till Army files report

    o my god not again :hitwall: when these people learn to handle things in a professional way . Just wondering how the heck a file which is supposed to be confidential slipped away if they cannot keep simple records confidential and protected how on earth thing are going when it comes to top secret affairs like base locations , secret maps etc etc
     
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  4. Coltsfan
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    Coltsfan <b>SENIOR MEMBER</b> SENIOR MEMBER

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    Re: Howitzer deal put on hold till Army files report

    Seems like one of the vendors is trying to scuttle and delay the acquisition process.

    BTW, does anyone know whatever happened to the inquiry about the MRCA file found on roadside. Did MOD ever figure out who was responsible for this huge breach of protocol of handling secret files?
     
  5. tariqkhan18
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    tariqkhan18 Major Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Re: Howitzer deal put on hold till Army files report

    The thing is that we need these guns no matter what. Delaying is something that makes no sense.

    You can continue to investigate the issue after deal.
     
  6. bhagat
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    bhagat 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    BAE Systems defends 'matchless' M777 gun

    Amid the controversy swirling around the performance of M777 lightweight howitzers, which India plans to buy from the US, BAE Systems has dismissed suggestions that its gun has fallen short of the army's requirements. In its first public comments on the M777 howitzer issue, BAE Systems said,"This is a government-to-government process and as such it is not one we can comment on. Nonetheless, in terms of capability, nothing matches the M777. It is the world's lightest 155mm howitzer and the only one proven in battle."
    The army had last week ordered a probe into the leak of a classified report pertaining to the recent trials of the howitzer, which is half the weight of a conventional 155mm gun. The report said the gun had failed trials on several key parameters.

    There are murmurs in the South Block that a disgruntled vendor, knocked out of the race for the artillery contract, might be trying to put a spanner in the works. Defence minister AK Antony declared last week that no one would be allowed to manipulate the military's weapons procurement programme. In a potential deal worth more than Rs 3,000 crore, India plans to buy 145 M777 howitzers to sharpen the offensive capabilities of its mountain divisions. Made of titanium and aluminum alloys, the lightweight gun (4,220 kg) can be swiftly deployed in remote theatres of operation.

    A BAE Systems' spokesperson said, "The weapon system has performed admirably in operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan in service with the US Army and the US Marine Corps."

    But the latest controversy could further delay the army's artillery modernisation programme. The army has not inducted any new gun since the Bofors controversy erupted in 1987.

    The leaked report said the howitzer had fared poorly in direct firing and air portability trials. Non-compliance on parameters such as barrel life, minimum range and anti-skid mechanism was also recorded in the trial report, mailed anonymously to army chief Gen VK Singh with a warning that the deal could cause trouble for him.

    Being the only bidder, Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) had emerged as a strong contender for supplying its 155mm Pegasus lightweight howitzer to India two years back.

    However, the defence ministry froze business with seven defence firms, including ST Kinetics, in June 2009 after their names cropped in CBI investigations into corruption charges against former Ordnance Factory Board chief Sudipto Ghosh. This paved the way for BAE Systems to toss its hat in the gun race again.

    BAE Systems defends 'matchless' M777 gun - Hindustan Times
     
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  7. tariqkhan18
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    tariqkhan18 Major Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Are there any competitors to the M777 ultra-light howitzer deal?
     
  8. Dilemma
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    Dilemma Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Nope. That is why it is now a government-to-government deal, the FMS route.
     
  9. CONNAN
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    CONNAN Major ELITE MEMBER

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    As Indian Govt Smoulders Over Trial Leak, M777 Crosses 1,000 Order Mark

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    As the Indian Army begins an official probe into the mysterious leak of its classified M777 ultra-light howitzer field evaluation trial report, across the world the gun is positively booming. According to a BAE Systems statement today, "An order for 46 M777 howitzers from the U.S. Department of Defense takes the total number of guns ordered to 1001."

    Seemingly refuting reports that the M777 failed certain trial parameters in India, Mike Smith, managing director of BAE Systems' Global Combat Systems Weapons business said, ""M777 has passed every development and operational test in vital areas such as accuracy, consistency, operational flexibility and mobility. There is no other modern howitzer which has been subjected to such rigorous examination, or been engaged in such unrelenting operational usage and regular deployment by airborne assets."
     
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  10. Spartacus+
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    Spartacus+ Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    This is so embarrassing Indian army chief receiving threats from within the army. :big_boss:
     
  11. Welcome
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    Welcome 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    yes no doubt his situation is not good like your chief who rule the Pakistan.
     
  12. flanker143
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    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    plzz care to tell when was he "threatened" by army !!??
     
  13. Spartacus+
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    Spartacus+ Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  14. One
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    One 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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  15. flanker143
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    flanker143 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    future weapons prgm is good but sometimes it is over hyped and partial....
     

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