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UK to restart M777 howitzer production due to war in Ukraine

UK to restart M777 howitzer production due to war in Ukraine Photo: UK seeks to resume production of M777 howitzer (Getty Images)

British company BAE Systems is preparing to resume the production of components for M777 howitzers due to the war in Ukraine and the demand for artillery weapons, reports Financial Times.

The company has signed an initial $50 million deal with the US Army to kickstart the new program while they finalize details of a broader contract.

The company also noted a significant increase in global interest in this weapon from European, Asian, and American countries since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in February 2022.

"The US, Canada, and Australia have all provided M777s to Ukraine, where they have proven highly effective against Russian invasion forces," the material 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 United States, and their first combat use occurred in the war in Afghanistan.

Britain expects the first deliveries in 2025

BAE Systems hopes that the new contract and the updated production line for components will lead to orders for complete M777 howitzers.

It is noted that although the main production takes place in the UK, assembly often occurs in the US. The company intends to collaborate with suppliers both in the UK and the US for the production of the main titanium structures of the M777, which form the core of the weapon. The first details are expected to be delivered in 2025.

The company believes that this contract creates ideal conditions for resuming production. The M777 is produced in the UK and allows new and existing users to participate in the new M777 production initiative, benefiting from a well-established production line and scale economies.

M777 howitzer

The howitzer has two types of projectiles - regular and rocket-assisted. Both types are in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The projectiles have a larger amount of explosive material and are long-range.

Such howitzers are used to destroy advanced command posts, ammunition and fuel depots, enemy equipment concentrations, and enemy artillery batteries.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Ukrainian military actively used the M777 howitzer in the war against Russian occupiers. It surpasses Soviet systems in terms of parameters and is easy to operate.