India to buy 145 American M777 ultra-light howitzers

NEW DELHI – An official says India will buy 145 American M777 ultra-light howitzers to be mostly deployed near its borders with China.

BAE Systems, manufacturer of the gun, looks forward to providing the Indian army with the howitzers, Joe Senftle, a company vice-president and general manager for Weapon Systems, said in a statement Wednesday.

An agreement was signed Wednesday during a meeting of the India-U.S. Military Cooperation Group in New Delhi. India will buy the artillery guns via the U.S. foreign military sales route for about $737 million, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

The U.S. views India as a key ally in the Asia Pacific, in part as a countermeasure to China and a lynchpin in America’s effort to deepen military and diplomatic ties with countries at Beijing’s doorstep.