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A video of the M777 Ultra Light Howitzer, which was inducted in the Army recently, was seen in action in Nashik.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army Chief General Bipin Rawat were also present on the occasion of the induction.

The Army had received the howitzers in May 2017 as part of an order for 145 guns.

India had struck a government-to-government deal with the US last November for supply of the 145 howitzers at a cost of nearly Rs 5,000 crore.

While 25 guns will come in a fly-away condition, the rest will be assembled in India by the BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.

The Army has been pressing the government to speed up its modernisation programme.

In a major decision, the government last week had empowered the Vice Chief of the Army to procure critical ammunition and spares for key weapons systems to maintain combat readiness for short duration “intense wars”.

The move, aimed at filling the “voids” in the Army’s combat readiness, came amid nearly a month-long standoff between the armies of India and China in the Dokalam area as well as heightened Indo-Pak tension along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

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