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Australian Army to get additional M777 howitzers

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The M777 towed howitzer. A BAE Systems photo

CANBERRA (BNS): The Australian Defence Ministry has announced the acquisition of two additional artillery batteries of lightweight towed howitzer guns for the Army.

A total of 19 new M777A2 155mm howitzers (M777s) will be procured at a cost of $70 million, Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced on Tuesday.

With the new acquisition, the Australian Army will have six batteries of M777s in its arsenal.

In October 2009, then Defence Minister John Faulkner had announced the acquisition of four batteries of 35 M777A2 155mm howitzers.

The latest acquisition decision means that the additional M777s will be acquired off the current production line in the US to avoid potential additional costs to restart such production.

The Government will consider additional support and facilities costs associated with this acquisition later in the 2012-13 financial year, the Defence Ministry said.

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