BAE Systems awarded $176m

The US Department of Defense has placed an order worth $176m with BAE Systems for 87 M777A2 155mm towed howitzers.

The order adds to the 589 M777A2 howitzers already on order for the US armed forces. The 155mm towed howitzers purchased under this contract will be delivered in 2010.

The manufacture, integration and testing of the weapons will take place at BAE Systems’ facilities at Barrow-in-Furness, UK and Hattiesburg, Mississippi

According to BAE Systems, the M777 howitzer is the world’s first artillery system to incorporate large-scale use of titanium and aluminum alloys.

Weighing less than 4220kg it is the world’s lightest 155mm howitzer, resulting in a field gun that is half the weight of a conventional 155mm system.

The gun is now being deployed using the new M982 Excalibur guided ammunition, developed by Raytheon and BAE Systems, which delivers a maximum range of 40km with an accuracy of 10m.