US approves sale of Harpoon missiles and torpedoes to India

Washington: – The Trump administration has approved the sale of Harpoon missiles and Torpedoes to India. Pentagon has said that induction of these weapons in the Indian naval fleet will augment Indian marine defence capabilities.

The Trump administration informed the US Congress of this approval for sale, of Harpoon missiles and Torpedoes, to India, on Tuesday. In 2016, the United States designated India as ‘Major Defence Partner’. This cleared the path for sale of sensitive technology and defence equipment to India. Under the same scheme, the United States will be selling the Harpoon missiles and Torpedoes to India. Pentagon said that the total value of the agreement was $150 million.

The United States will be supplying 10 ‘AGM 84-L Harpoon Block-2 Air Launch’ missiles. The cost of these missiles is $92 million. The United States will also be selling 16 ‘MK-54 Lightweight Torpedoes’, along with three training torpedoes in the same category, valued at $63 million.

Harpoon missiles can be deployed on the ‘P-8I’ anti-submarine fighter jets. These can be used even in the land war campaigns. MK-54 Lightweight Torpedoes also will augment the anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The US defence headquarters, Pentagon, said that this would strengthen the Indian marine defence capabilities.

The Harpoon missile to be supplied to India will be manufactured by the Boing company, whereas the Torpedoes will be manufactures by Raytheon. Pentagon clarified that this sale was being carried out, according to the US foreign policy and national security, to strengthen the cooperation with the Major Defence Partner. Pentagon also underlined that the military balance in the region would not be affected by this sale of missiles.

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