Firing trial for American howitzer guns has started at Pokhran Field Firing Range on Thursday. Two guns successfully hit their targets and the team is checking their abilities in various parameters. The duo ultra-light M777 guns were recently imported from US. Officers of army’s artillery unit and six members from gun manufacturing company were present during trial.
Due to some dispute between Indian Army and Bhadaria Mandir Seva Samiti, trials were stalled earlier and after continuous efforts to compromise between the two parties, the issue resolved finally.
There was dispute on 1.10 lakh bighas of land between the temple trust and army. Earlier, the decision was in favour of temple trust and army had filed a petition against it in the high court. The temple trust had registered this land as pasture land and army was making preparations to conduct trials. Getting information of army’s preparation, the temple trust had protested any kind of construction on their land and wrote letter to district collector demanding interference 10 days ago.
Confirming this, Bhadaria Mandir Seva Samiti secretary Jugal Kishore Asher said army had made structure on the land which belongs to the temple. The land is to be used for grazing purpose of 26,000. Army was building structure on the land to which temple trust had objected. Now, the issue has been sorted out.
Army source said, “Test bed firing of two M777 American guns has been started. We have set up gun table structure and started firing from different angle and parameters. In addition, various types of ammunition were also fired from those guns. On this occasion, army officers and American gun company officials were also present. The trials will continue for one and half months.
Sources said specialty of howitzers is its lightweight and easy mobility. They can be easily taken to J&K, Arunachal Pradesh and other hilly areas after formation of mountain strike core in Indian army After Swedish bofors cannon, Indian Army got US made gun which will improve its firing capacity.
Army spokesman said “The weapon system was contracted on November 30, 2016. As per contract agreement, firing tables are being prepared by contracted agencies i.e. US Government and BAE GCS Ltd with support of Indian Army. Firing tables are ready and three more guns will be received in second stage in September 2018 for training. Thereafter, induction will commence from March 2019 onwards at the rate of five guns per month till complete consignment is received by mid-2021.”