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U.S. Marines Demonstrate Lightweight Howitzer

20 Jan 2005

U.S. Marines today demonstrated the M777 lightweight howitzer to local officials at Fort Sill, Okla. The M777 is a lightweight 155mm howitzer and a critical fire support component of Marine Air Ground Task Forces and Army Brigade Combat Teams and light divisions.

The M777 was designed and developed by BAE Systems, and is a joint program between the Army and Marine Corps to replace the M198 towed howitzer. The M777 incorporates the first use of titanium castings, which reduces the weight of the howitzer - by 7,000 lbs. - offering improved transportability and mobility, while retaining the full ammunition and range capability of the M198. The lightweight howitzer can be transported by Marine Corps MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft.

The Marines, from the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment stationed at Twentynine Palms, California, will be the first unit to receive the new howitzers and the battalion's key personnel are currently training with the M777 at Fort Sill.

The M777 recently completed operational testing at Twentynine Palms in anticipation of a full rate production decision expected next month. During the tests, nearly 12,000 artillery rounds were fired by four production howitzers. The M777 met all operational requirements and proved to be extremely reliable. Fielding of the new howitzer will continue with the Army and Marine Corps through 2009.

The M777 is assembled at BAE Systems' integration facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and incorporates components manufactured by a U.S. supplier base that the company has been developing for the past four years. More than 70 percent of the howitzer's parts are manufactured in the U.S.

About BAE SYSTEMS

BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea and in space. The company designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, fighting vehicles, radar, avionics, communications, electronics and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years. It is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems.

BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company has more than 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 12 billion through its wholly-owned and joint venture operations.

BAE Systems, innovating for a safer world.

For further information, please contact:

John Measell, BAE Systems North America
Tel: +1 703 907 8261 Mobile: +1 703 405 5010 john.h.measell@baesystems.com



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