In what might boost the artillery firepower of Indian Army in the eastern frontier, the Indian Army has decided to deploy the M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sources in the Army said that the Howitzers will be deployed in Tawang, Kameng and Walong.
The artillery regiments deployed in the Arunachal Pradesh are being trained on to operate the M777.
The move assumes significance considering that fact that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s is likely to visit India next week and that the neighbouring country has expressed its concern over the India Army’s decision to hold Him Vijay, the biggest mountain combat exercise in the hill state of the eastern frontier.
The US Army have used the M777s in Afghanistan and Iraq and is also used by the ground forces of Australia, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
It made its combat debut in the War in Afghanistan.
Sources further said that Army is considering to deploy about seven regiments of the 145 Howitzers in India’s northern sector comprising Ladakh and the eastern sector in Arunachal Pradesh.
It is believed that the Howitzers will help India secure its borders with China in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh.
“The Howitzers can be airlifted to areas close to the LAC. This will be helpful in eastern frontier in Arunachal Pradesh where road communication is difficult due to hilly terrain,” sources said.
The sources added that these can be airlifted by Chinook helicopters to forward area helipads, such as the Walong Advanced Landing Ground.
Sources further said that a Chinook unit will also come up in Assam’s Dinjan area.
Although the Bofors is deployed in the region, it is difficult to carry it to locations near LAC.