BAE delivers 500th M777 howitzer to US forces
London, April 19, 2009
BAE Systems on Saturday celebrated the delivery of its 500th M777 howitzer, the revolutionary artillery weapon that can hurl a standard 43.5 kg shell to almost 30 kilometres at 2.5 times the speed of sound, to the US military.
Weighing in at less than 4200kg, the revolutionary M777 is the world’s first artillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminum alloys, resulting in a howitzer which is half the weight of conventional 155mm systems.
BAE Systems Global Combat Systems’ facility at Barrow-in- Furness is responsible for the prime contract management of the M777 programme, including direct customer liaison and acceptance of the weapon system in the US, control of the UK and US supply chain, engineering design authority and manufacturing and assembly of the complex titanium structures and associated recoil components.
The final integration and test of the weapon system is undertaken at its Hattiesburg plant in Mississippi.
US Army officer Colonel James Matties congratulated workers on building a “superb” gun and told them it was doing a magnificent job in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The total number of orders for the gun currently stands at 737 in a programme worth over £1billion ($1.47 billion) since it began in the mid-90s.
“This is a landmark day for a transatlantic programme which has hit every milestone along the way,” said BAE Systems' Artillery Programmes director Ian McMillan.
“M777 follows two other Anglo-US weapon success stories – the 105mm Light Gun and the 81mm mortar are both British BAE Systems designs which have been adopted by the US,” he added.
Canada has a potential requirement for an additional 25 howitzers. Australia has also registered official interest in a purchase and other nations are assessing the weapon system.
Most of the 500 M777s have been delivered to the US Army and US Marine Corp. Canada also has 12 M777 howitzers in service with the Royal Horse Artillery.
Both nations’ services operate M777s in Afghanistan, providing fire support to coalition forces. The gun is known by local insurgents as the ‘Desert Dragon.’
Its ability to be airlifted to remote positions by helicopter gives the system enormous operational flexibility and makes it ideal for a challenging environment like Afghanistan.
BAE Systems also provides support, training, maintenance and spares for the guns currently in service. The M777 effort is managed by the Light Weight 155mm Joint Program office at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, he added.-TradeArabia News Service
More Miscellaneous Stories
- Mother recounts vice den ordeal in Bahrain
- More companies 'getting into CSR activities'
- Middle East grain import bills could rise
- New Emirati themed restaurant opens
- 4 UAE companies in race for agri innovation awards
- Stage set for Bahrain Animal Production Show
- Amphibious boats make global debut in Dubai
- Dubai chamber F&B group sets roadmap for 2014
- Feminisation drive costs $213m to Saudi firms
- US interiors firm opens MEA base in Dubai
- Saudi 'spends $1.6bn on energy drinks'
- Farmer is jailed for raping housemaid in Bahrain
- Bahraini mother recounts firebombs agony
- Guard foils masked ATM robbers in Bahrain
- Bahraini on Arab world's 'most powerful women' list
- Latest kitchen technology at Sharjah event
- Number of HNWIs in Africa to double by 2023
- World boxing legend to visit Bahrain
- UAE road accidents decline by 23.5pc
- Top businesswomen in Bahrain honoured
- Death penalty sought for Bahrain terrorists
- Girl, 9, dies after fall from 8th floor in Abu Dhabi
- Lebanese café brand opens Dubai outlet
- Bahrain poultry firm told to step up safety
- Customer dies in Bahrain cafe brawl
- Bahraini boys hurt while planting bombs
- Philips, Ericsson launch LED street lighting
- DuBiotech to set up first Halal safety lab
- Jotun to supply coatings for Makkah Station
- Raytheon wins $655m Kuwait Patriot deal