US approves sale of missile, torpedoes worth USD155 million to India

The MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo will provide India the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions, Pentagon said in a statement

The DAC approved procurement of long range land attack cruise missile systems with a range of 1,000 KM and Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force. Representational image: iStock

The Donald Trump administration on Monday (April 13) notified the Congress of its determination to sell Harpoon Block II air launched missiles and lightweight torpedoes worth USD155 million to India.

The sale of 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air launched missiles is estimated to cost USD92 million, while 16 MK 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes and three MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes are estimated to cost USD63 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in two separate notifications to the Congress.

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A determination in this regard was recently made by the US State Department following a request for these two military hardware made by the Indian government, the Pentagon said.
According to the Pentagon, the Harpoon missile system will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to conduct anti-surface warfare missions in defense of critical sea lanes while enhancing inter-operability with the United States and other allied forces.

“India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. India will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces, the Pentagon said.

While the Harpoon missiles will be manufactured by Boeing, the torpedoes would be supplied by Raytheon, the notification said.

The proposed sale, it said, will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems. The MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo will provide the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions.

India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. India intends to utilize MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes on its P-8I aircraft. India will have no difficulty absorbing these systems into its armed forces, it said.

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In both the notifications, the Pentagon said that the proposed sale of these equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

According to the Pentagon, this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.

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