BAE Systems and Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics will submit rival bids to supply the Indian Army with 140 ultra-light 155 mm/39 cal howitzers. However, the two systems are not scheduled to enter trials until 2009, when they will be tested in the Rajasthan desert and at high altitudes.
The companies expect to make their bids by 7 April.
According to industry sources, both companies are also negotiating collaborative agreements with local companies to jointly build the howitzers under licence in order to meet mandatory offset obligations of 30 per cent of the overall contract value.
BAE Systems is offering its M777 155 mm/39 cal towed howitzer, which weighs less than 4,220 kg.
ST's rival system, the Pegasus 155 mm/39 cal lightweight howitzer weighs 5,400 kg.
The M777 howitzer is a towed artillery piece developed by British Vickers group, and is produced by BAE Systems Land Systems in the US. It will eventually replace the M198 howitzer in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army service by 2010.
The M777 is also being used by the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, and has been used in action in Afghanistan along with the associated GPS-guided "Excalibur" ammunition.
It is also being assessed in trials by the British Army as a candidate for replacing the L118 Light Gun in some regiments.
- 30.4 ft (9275 mm) in tow
- 33.5 ft (10210 mm) firing mode
- 9.1 ft (2770 mm) in tow
- 12.2 ft (3720 mm) firing mode
Height: 7.4 ft (2260 mm) in tow
Barrel life: 2650 firings
Maximum effective range:
- conventional ammunition (unassisted): 24.7 km,
- rocket-assisted projectile: 30 km,
Rate of fire:
- 5 round/min, rapid
- 2 round/min, sustained
Pegasus 155mm/39 cal lightweight howitzer
Weighing only 5.4 tonnes, the Pegasus SLWH is the world's first 39-calibre 155 mm with self-propelled capability that is air-transportable by a C130 and CH47. The Pegasus SLWH 39-calibre barrel is mounted on a specially designed lightweight structure that enables towing by medium sized vehicles like trucks, etc.
Equipped with an auxillary power unit (APU), the SLWH Pegasus is capable of power traverse and ammunition loading operations as well as self propelled functions.
Rate of fire
- 3 rounds (rds) in 24 sec (Burst)
- 4 rds/min (Max.)
- 2 rds/min for 30min (Sustain)
- 19 km (M107)
- 30 km (ERFB BB)
With an ammunition loading system for a high rate of fire, the Pegasus SLWH also delivers extended range projectiles of up to 30 km range.
Together with ST Kinetics' 155mm Improved Conventional Munition (ICM) rounds, the system provides rapid deployment forces with an immense force multiplier effect.