Britain resumes production of M777 howitzers as Ukraine war pushes demand
The British company BAE Systems is gearing up to restart the production of components for M777 howitzers. This move is attributed to the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has generated increased demand for artillery weapons
The Financial Times reported the information.
The company has signed an initial $50 million deal with the US Army to kick-start the new program while they finalize the details of a larger contract.
The company also noted a significant increase in global interest in the weapon from countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas since the war in Ukraine began in February 2022.
"The US, Canada and Australia have all donated M777s to the Ukrainians. The howitzer, a class of mobile, long-range gun, has proven extremely effective in the fight against Russian forces," the article says.
Currently, more than 1,250 M777 howitzers are in service with the ground forces of Australia, Canada, Colombia, India, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and the US, and their first combat use took place in the war in Afghanistan.
BAE Systems hopes that the new contract and the revamped component production line will lead to orders for complete M777 howitzers.
The outlet writes that although the main production takes place in the UK, assembly often takes place in the US. The company intends to work with suppliers in both the UK and the US to produce the main titanium structures of the M777, which form the core of the weapon, with the first parts expected to be delivered in 2025.
The company believes that this contract creates ideal conditions for the resumption of production. The M777 is manufactured in the UK and provides an opportunity for new and existing customers to participate in the new M777 production initiative, benefiting from a well-established production line and economies of scale.