RajitO wrote: And it is your and other folks obsession with facts and figures shorn of all context and qualitative input that makes you as much an armchair warrior that you presume others to be. Let's agree to disagree but self-awareness is a quality to be cultivated...no?
Excellent that you are speaking to some of the BTDT crowd, please dig a little more in the spirit of scientific inquiry not just into the laws of physics but also the laws of warfare, especially with some of the Indian aviators and they might be able to tell you how the M777 is going to be handled, or similar weapon systems, at Indian altitudes. Replying to me or anyone else for that matter should be the least of your concerns if you are on this forum to learn something more.
You need to go a bit easy on the preaching part...if you don't agree with people's argument(s), please provide a counter POV than giving sermons.
As to the 'Laws of Warfare' thing and associated argument - none of them will survive if they violate the laws of Physics. Even the Cheetah and Chetak flying in the rarefied atmosphere of Siachen do not violate Laws of Physics - though they're flying at the very edge of the envelope as these laws would've predicted - and hence, the margin for error is next to nothing.
Having said that - linking the purchase of CH-47 Chinook with M777 is a red-herring. Simple as that. Since you're talking about laws of warfare, how does the ratio of 15 Chinook and 145 M777 match-up? When there are indications that these guns will be distributed across different divisions @ 1 regiment per division under Eastern Command. So, unless the Chinooks are based with Eastern Air Command and east of Guwahati and tasked from the word go to assist in movement of these guns, there is simply no synergy in purchase of Chinook and M777.
Now, if you ask me, the purchase of Chinook and M777 stand on their own merit and the two are not related in terms of acquisition plan. Here are my thoughts on the same:
1. I have a feeling that the requirement for Ultra-Light Weight Howitzer (ULWH) emerged after IA saw the development in this field around the globe. However, it seems that someone latched onto this requirement from IA and tried to manipulate the deal in a specific manner. And this could not have happened without the collusion of decision makes in AHQ. And I will pen down the data points for my opinion below. Please be advised that I'm not commenting on the usefulness of the gun. Any weight saved in mountain warfare is manna from heaven and I'll any day take a 'light' 155/39 caliber gun over 105mm gun.
2. Coming to my assertion - General V.K. Singh in his autobiography (page-305) says that when they examined the GSQR for the ULWH, they found that it was drawn to suit Singapore Technologies Pegasus gun to letter T. It was made in a manner so as to ensure only Pegasus emerges as a winner.
3. It is a different matter that Singapore Technologies ran into trouble with MOD and the gun was out of race - IA then recommended to look at M777 which Americans were willing to sell and was available under FMS route.
4. Now, this is where things got a bit murky and may explain why we had leaked report(s) about M777 failing IA GSQR and some tests and all. General V.K. Singh writes that Defense Secretary insisted that M777 meet the same GSQR as was made for Pegasus gun. He states that DG Artillery and DCOAS told the Defense Secretary that the stipulated conditions (for Pegasus gun) had NO OPERATIONAL meaning under Indian conditions but Defense Secretary said and I quote, 'We'll give you deviations at the appropriate time'.
5. So, it is not hard to understand that reports about M777 having failed the tests were released because someone was clearly batting for Pegasus (where money was to be made) and wanted to scuttle M777 - where there is no scope of skimming at the top. I would not be surprised if M777 acquisition was delayed so that attendant increase in acquisition cost would render the purchase nonviable.
6. Given that Pegasus weighs 5.4 tonnes, comes with limited self-propelled capability through APU (speed 12 km/h) and has semi-automatic loading mechanism, it would not be hard to understand that M777 would have 'FAILED' on these parameters.
7. However, given the weight of Pegasus and considering that it was the first choice - I don't think anyone was even thinking of carrying this gun as under-slung load in a Chinook.
8. And the fact that IA recommended M777 further gives weight to conclusion that for its weight class, APU was not considered as a definite requirement. The weight saving with the caliber would be the main advantage. As it is, the Pegasus and M777 were not designed keeping in mind requirement of mountain warfare. Americans designed M777 for their expeditionary warfare requirement.