PICATINNY ARSENAL:  A $737 million Foreign Military Sale that will provide the Indian government 145 M777A2 howitzers and associated engineering support was agreed to on Nov. 30 as the U.S. Department of Defense and the Indian Ministry of Defence signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance.

The U.S. Army and Marine Corps' M777 howitzer program is managed by the Joint Project Manager Towed Artillery Systems, part of the Program Executive Office Ammunition located at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.

"We're looking forward to what we believe is the beginning of a great, and potentially long-term, relationship with the Indian government and their Army," said Jim Shields, the Program Executive Officer Ammunition.

"While many of the contract details are still being negotiated, PEO Ammunition will continue to work closely with the Indian government to ensure smooth execution of the case," Shields said.

India joins Australia and Canada as the third U.S. ally to purchase M777A2 howitzers. 

Besides being reliable and battle-proven, the M777A2 howitzer is lightweight, which allows it to be easily airlifted by helicopter in hilly terrain, such as the Himalayas in India. It was the world's first howitzer to weigh less than 10,000 lbs, a weight reduction achieved through innovative use of titanium and aluminum alloys.