India-US Missile Deal: The Trump Administration has notified the US Congress its intention to sell Harpoon Missiles manufactured by Boeing and Lightweight Torpedoes produced by Raytheon to India in a $155 million deal.
Under the deal India will get 10 Harpoon Block II missiles that will be fitted on Indian Navy’s Boeing 8PI maritime patrol aircraft, and it will also get 16 MK 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes (LWT) and associated equipment for Indian Navy.
Under the first deal, which is valued at $92 million, Boeing will supply a total 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air launched missiles and related equipment. Indian Navy already operates Boeing’s 8-PI surveillance aircraft and Harpoons will be fitted on the aircraft.
The aircraft equipped with Harpoon missiles are expected to significantly boost India’s ability to defend its sea lances across Indian Ocean, from the Strait of Malacca in the east to Arab Sea, stretching up to African shores in the west.
Under the second deal valued at $63 million, Raytheon will supply 16 MK 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes (LWT), 3 MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes (MK 54 LWT Kit procurement required) and other associated equipments and spare parts.
The deal also includes supply of torpedo containers, 2 recoverable exercise torpedoes (Rextorp).
These torpedoes can also be used with the Boeing’s P-8I aircraft and enhance the country’s deterrence capability an aggressive and more visible patrolling by foreign navy in the Indian Ocean region.
India-US Missile Deal will have offset component
The two deals will have offset arrangements as per India’s defence procurement policy which requires a part of the contract to be executed by Indian defence companies to build the indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities.
“There are no known offset agreements for both deals and any offset agreements will be defined in negotiations between India and the contractors,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification to the U.S. Congress, notifying it of the possible sale.
As per the U.S.’s Arms Export Control Act, Congress has 30 days to raise objections to the sale in the case of India.
The news of this possible arms sale to India comes in the backdrop of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent decision to supply a significant amount of Hydroxychloroquine to the US government to help it fight the outbreak of COVID-19. The highly contagious virus has so far killed over 21,600 people in the USA and infected over 547,000 people.