BAE Systems Wins Additional M777 Howitzer Order from the U.S. Armed Forces
HATTIESBURG, Mississippi – BAE Systems has received a new order from the U.S. Department of Defense for 87 additional M777A2 155mm towed howitzers, valued at $176 million. The order adds to the 589 M777A2 howitzers already on order for the U.S. armed forces, of which more than 300 have been delivered.
The 155mm towed howitzers purchased under this contract will be delivered in 2010.
“This order has been achieved as a result of benchmark standard teamwork between the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Light Weight 155mm Office, and the BAE Systems project team, due to our strong delivery performance and the reliability,“ said Jim Imrie, BAE Systems’ Land Systems Weapons and Vehicles managing director. “The M777A2 is exceeding the customer’s expectations in terms of performance, and this has helped build the case for additional orders. The M777 is proving to be an exceptional piece of kit, praised by the artillery community for its reliability, ease of use and accuracy.”
The M777 effort is managed by the Light Weight 155mm Joint Program office at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. BAE Systems’ facilities at Barrow-in-Furness, UK and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, manufacture, integrate and test the guns. BAE Systems also provides support, training, maintenance and spares for the guns currently in service all around the world.
The M777 howitzer is the world’s first artillery system to incorporate large-scale use of titanium and aluminum alloys; weighing less than 10,000 lbs (4220 kilograms) it is the world’s lightest 155mm howitzer, resulting in a field gun that is half the weight of a conventional 155mm system. The light weight enables rapid deployment of M777 into any theater of operation. The gun is now being deployed using the new M982 Excalibur guided ammunition, developed by Raytheon and BAE Systems, which delivers a maximum range of 40km with an accuracy of 10 meters.
M777 is currently in service with the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Canada also has 12 M777 howitzers in service, with potential requirements for an additional 22 howitzers. The Canadian Royal Horse Artillery has a number of M777s operational in Afghanistan where the gun is known by local insurgents as the ‘Desert Dragon’.
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