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General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Indian Army, embarks on a three-day visit to the United States tomorrow, with defense projects high on the agenda. Among the programs both countries are exploring is a significant upgrade for the M777 ultra-lightweight howitzer.

Currently, India operates the 155mm 39 caliber towed gun variant of the M777. However, discussions are underway to extend its capabilities with a 155mm 52 caliber upgrade. BAE Systems, the manufacturer of the M777, confirms ongoing conversations and acknowledges the potential benefits of a longer-range variant.

The envisioned upgrade involves offering an extended-range capability as a kit, allowing existing M777s to be modified without requiring a fleet-wide replacement. This modular approach offers cost-effectiveness and flexibility, enabling India to upgrade specific units to address evolving battlefield needs.

Upgrading the M777’s range aligns with India’s modernization efforts towards a leaner, more agile army capable of deterring and responding to threats along its borders. An extended-range howitzer would increase artillery firepower and precision, providing a tactical advantage in diverse terrains and against distant targets.

This potential M777 upgrade exemplifies the growing defense cooperation between India and the US. Both nations share strategic interests and are committed to strengthening their military capabilities through joint exercises, technology transfers, and co-development initiatives. General Pande’s visit serves as a crucial platform to advance such collaborations and ensure regional stability.