Canadian Forces Procurement – US FMS Notice – Field Artillery – June 2008
37 Additional 155mm M777 Light-Weight Towed Howitzers
Military Sale Notice — A Proposed Sale to Canada
The 155mm M777 towed howitzer was ordered for
the CF as part of the November 2005 IOR (Immediate Operational Requirement) purchases. The first of the new
guns arrived in Afghanistan in February 2006. By 20 February, the first shots had been fired (at Gumbad,
60km NE of Kandahar). The initial six howitzers were bought from the US Marine Corps (in a
government-to-government sale). Late in 2006, DND confirmed filling an option with BAE Systems for six more M777s.
Then it was announced that a "Light Weight Towed Howitzer" contest would result in 34 further
In January 2008, the government publish- ed a Letters of
Interest Notice for LWTH. No one seriously expected any outcome other than an order for
additional M777s. As a result, the 17 June 2008 FMS Notice comes as no surprise either. However, the number of
howitzers in this proposed sale is slightly higher than the LOI required – 37 versus 34. This
should be considered a testment to CF regard for the M777. 
Canadian gunners will be pleased to hear of this FMS but an actual order is still some time off. According to the LOI
Notice, Statements of Interest and Qualification are to be received by the end of 2008, the Request for
Proposals complete in early 2009, and a contract awarded for the new howitzers sometime in the autumn of
 In March 2008, the new M982 Excalibur precision-guided projectiles were cleared for use in Afghanistan.
These GPS-guided rounds caught the media's attention being both highly accurate and extremely expensive.
However, that rather missed the point. Thanks to a Digital Gun Management System, the M777 is
already very accurate using conventional, unguided shells. Thousands of 155mm rounds –
mostly unguided HE (high explosive) and illumination – have been fired by RCHA gunners in
The text of the FMS notice (as published by the US DSCA) is reproduced below:
Defense Security Cooperation Agency
On the web: http://www.dsca.mil
Media/Public Contact: (703)
Date: 17 June 2008
Transmittal No. 08-68
Canada — M777 155mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2008 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a
possible Foreign Military Sale to Canada of M777 155mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers as well as associated
equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as [US] $114
million [or $115.69M Canadian].
The Government of Canada has requested a possible sale of [an additional] 37 M777 155mm
Light-Weight Towed Howitzers, spare and repair parts, support and test equip- ment, publications and technical
documentation, maintenance, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor
representatives' technical assist- ance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related
elements of logist- ics support. The estimated cost is [US] $114 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security object- ives
of the United States by improving the military capabilities of Canada
and the Canadian military’s interoperability with U.S. forces. Canadian deployments in support of
peacekeeping and humanitarian operations have enhanced global political and eco- nomic stability and have
served U.S. national security interests.
This proposed sale would greatly contribute to Canada's military capability by making [the Canadian Forces] a
more sustainable coalition force to support the Global War on Terror. Canada currently operates the M777
lightweight howitzers and will use these  new howitzers to protect its deployed troops,
and give them the ability to operate in hazardous conditions. Canada will have no difficulty absorbing
the howitzers into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the
basic military balance in the region [ie: in North America].
The prime contractors will be [ BAE Systems Land Systems Weapons & Vehicles ] in Hattiesburg, Mississippi,
and Howmet Castings, Alcoa Business [ Alcoa Howmet ] in Whitehall, Michigan. There are no known
offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
The proposed sale requires engineering technical support for approximately two U.S. government
representatives and five contractor representatives for one year.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law; it does not mean that the
sale has been concluded.