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Restart of BAE Systems M777 Howitzer Production

US Army M777 lightweight howitzer being flown forward under a CH-47 Chinook [© Bob Morrison]

New US Army contract with BAE Systems presents optimum conditions for a likely restart of M777 155mm lightweight howitzer production.

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Press Release, London, 04 January 2024: BAE Systems has signed an agreement with the US Army for M777 lightweight howitzer major structures, under an Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA), which is currently limited to $50 million. This allows BAE Systems to start delivering on the programme, while finalising the details of the contract and its total value with the customer. BAE Systems will work with its supply chain in the UK and the US to produce the major M777 titanium structures, which form the basis of the gun. The first major structures are due to be delivered in 2025.

US Army M777 lightweight howitzer on a European drop zone during SWIFT RESPONSE 2021 [© Bob Morrison]

BAE Systems has seen an increase in interest from across Europe, Asia, and the Americas in the M777 gun system. This new contract creates the optimum conditions for a restart of M777 production in the UK, and presents an opportunity to new and existing users to join a new M777 production initiative and take advantage of the benefits from a hot production line and economies of scale. The US, as well as Canada and Australia, has donated M777s to Ukraine.

“This restart of production of the major structures for the US Army’s M777s comes at a critical time, with howitzers deployed on operations in Ukraine. “The US, as well as Canada and Australia, has donated M777s to Ukraine. We understand that they are performing well and we are very proud of our role in supporting our allies”, said John Borton, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Weapons Systems UK, which manages the manufacture and assembly of the M777 lightweight howitzers. “The M777 will remain at the forefront of artillery technology well into the future through the use of technical insertions, long-range precision guided munition developments, and flexible mobility options.”

US Marine Corps M777 lightweight howitzer in Norway during TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 [© Bob Morrison]

At half the weight of other 155mm towed howitzers, the M777 provides a rapid reaction capability and a proven pedigree that delivers decisive firepower when needed most in sustained combat conditions. With more than 1,250 M777s in service with ground forces in the United States, Ukraine, the Americas, Australia and India, the M777 is the only battle-proven 155mm lightweight howitzer in the world.

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