The purchase of 400 tower artillery-guns has been pulled out of the Defense Ministry’s interest today by Global defense major BAE Systems. The guns are an upgraded version of the currently used Bofors Guns, for the Indian Army.
The reason for this decision was made after the company realized that the newer version of the guns were technically limited, allowing the competition to suffer from only minimal disadvantages with their FH-77B05 guns, stated BAE spokesperson Guy Douglas.
“After careful consideration of BAE Systems, we’ve come to the conclusion that our company will not submit a proposal. As we decided this, we’ve also informed the Ministry of Defense about this,” he added.
The new 155mm 52 caliber tower howitzers, which was supposed to be offered by the BAE Systems, is only an upgraded version of the Bofors gun that the Army had in their inventory in the late 80s.
The final day of submissions for bids was today, and the company had not offered a new bid for the program for towed artillery guns.
After this decision of BAE, the proposal for the guns to include these in the Indian Army’s artillery modernization program, has been overwhelmed with a wide variety of problems.
Douglas said that the bid was not placed based on a “commercial” decision. The high investment costs that are needed to participate in the artillery competition of this nature is too high, and the win probability has therefore been reduced.
After the bofors gun “scandal” reached the public, this is now the fifth time that the army’s plan to obtain artillery gun upgrades has been ran into rough weathers. Earlier attempts to purchase upgrades failed because of corruption allegations and various other reasons.
The company’s commitment to India, in addition to the development of India’s domestic defense industry remains unraveled, Douglas made clear however.
Obtaining Ultri Light Howitzers, manufactured by BAE Systems with the help of the Foreign Military Sales route from the US is also a plan of India. The plan covers the purchase of several types of howitzers, including towed, self propelled and mounted ones, and is part of its RS 20.000 crore artillery modernization plan.