Faulty ammunition resulted in Howitzer explosion
On 2nd September, one of the Indian Army's new US-manufactured ultra-light M-777 Howitzer had exploded during a field trial in Pokhran. A preliminary investigation into the same has now revealed that faulty ammunition had resulted in the explosion. The ammunition had been supplied by India's Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), and a further probe into the matter is currently on.
OFB spokesperson Uddipan Mukherjee, when asked about the findings of the investigation, said that the shells supplied to the Army had undergone required quality tests. He said that such failures could have multiple causes "pertaining to internal ballistics" and could not be attributed to the "quality of the shell" alone.
The Rs. 35 crore M-777 which exploded was one of two supplied to India by US manufacturer BAE systems. This is part of a larger order of 145 such guns - the first such deal since the Bofors scandal. Three more M-777s will be supplied to India in September 2018. Induction will commence from March 2019, and the complete consignment will be received by mid-2021.