BAE Systems recently signed a new agreement with the U.S. Army for M777 lightweight howitzer major structures.
The Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) is currently limited to $50 million, but it allows BAE to start delivering on the program while finalizing the details of the contract and its total value. A UCA is used when contract terms, specifications or price are not agreed upon until performance has begun under the action.
According to BAE, the company has seen an uptick in M777 interest across Europe, Asia and the Americas. BAE says the new contract should enable it to restart M777 production in the U.K. The deal also presents new and existing users an opportunity to join a new M777 production initiative and take advantage of the benefits of a hot production line and economies of scale.
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The M777 weighs about half of the other 155 mm towed howitzers on the market, which provides a rapid reaction capability.
Delivery of the first major structures is scheduled for 2025. BAE will now work with supply chain partners in the U.S. and U.K. to make the titanium structures that form the basis of the gun.
The U.S., Canada, and Australia have donated M777s to Ukraine. According to BAE, more than 1,250 M777s are in service with ground forces in the U.S., Ukraine, the Americas, Australia and India.