The Union Defence Ministry on Saturday sanctioned the proposal to purchase 145 M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer artillery guns from BAE Systems in the United States, reported. The total procurement cost will be about $750 million (Rs 5,091 crore approximately).

While 120 of them will be assembled at the Assembly Integration and Test facility in the country, the rest will be received in flyaway condition. The government has chosen Mahindra to partner with in the assembling process, reported Reuters. “The delivery of these guns will be in India which will help in substantial saving of transportation cost,” a senior defence ministry official said.

The Manohar Parrikar-chaired Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) also approved the proposal to build six next generation missile vessels under the Acceptance of Necessity category. The Rs 13,600-crore project will be part of the Centre's ‘Buy Indian’ initiative.

Among other things, the committee has approved bulk production of 18 Dhanush artillery guns, which are also called Desi Bofors. The DAC discussed 18 proposals worth Rs 28,000 crore during the meeting.