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US offers Howitzers worth USD 647 Million to India

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US-made M-777 towed Howitzers. USMC Photo.

WASHINGTON (PTI): Terming India as an important force for "political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia," the Pentagon has notified the US Congress of a possible sale of 145 state-of-the-art M777 155mm light-weight towed Howitzers to India worth USD 647 million.

"The howitzers will assist the Indian Army to develop and enhance standardization and to improve interoperability with US Soldiers and Marines who use the M777 as their primary means of indirect fire," the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement to the Congress.

"India intends to use the howitzers to modernize its armed forces and enhance its ability to operate in hazardous conditions," the agency said.

It also said the sale of Howitzers will contribute to the US's foreign policy and national security by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship.

India will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces, the said agency adding the sale will not alter basic military balance in the region.

Besides the US Marine with 380 such systems and US National Guard with 273 of them, Australia (57 guns) and Canada (12) are the only other two foreign countries who have been supplied this state of the art military equipment by the US.

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