DEFENCE DEAL BETWEEN INDIA AND US
16, Apr 2020
Prelims level : International-India Bilateral Cooperation Mains level : GS-II Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements Involving India and/or affecting India’s Interests.
Why in News?
- The US has approved a military sale to India of 16 MK 54 all round up lightweight torpedoes and ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles.
- In total two deals have been made.
- A possible Foreign Military Sale to India of 16 MK 54 all round up lightweight torpedoes and related equipment at an estimated cost of $63 million.
- In addition, in another deal, the US approved the possible sale to India of ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles and related equipment at an estimated cost of $92 million. The principal contractor for the first deal is Raytheon Integrated Defense System based in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, while Boeing is the principal contractor for the equipment in the second deal.
- India plans to use the equipment requested in both the deals on the Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I maritime aircraft.
MK 54 Lightweight Torpedo:
- The MK 54 lightweight torpedo is known as the Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT).
- It weighs around 608 pounds, while its warhead weighs around 96.8 pounds and is highly explosive.
- The primary use of this equipment is for offensive purposes when deployed by antisubmarine warfare aircraft and helicopters, and for defensive purposes when deployed by ships and against fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and slow-moving, quiet, diesel electric submarines.
AGM-84L Harpoon Block II Air-Launched Missiles:
- The Harpoon missile system will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to conduct anti-surface warfare missions in defence of critical sea lanes.
- It uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit the designated target.
- Its warhead weighs over 500 pounds and is capable of delivering lethal firepower against targets, including land-based targets, coastal defence sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft and industrial or port facilities.
- Boeing’s P-8s are designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
- The P-8s India version is called the P-8I, and helps the Indian Navy carry out important maritime operations.
- According to Boeing, the aircraft can surpass 25,000 flight hours, and gives the Navy a significant edge in the strategically important Indian Ocean.
- India currently has eight of these aircraft and is scheduled to receive four more by 2022