The United States on Monday approved the sale of Harpoon air-launched missiles and lightweight torpedoes worth $155 million to India, PTI reported. President Donald Trump conveyed his determination to confirm the deal, following a request made by the Indian government to provide the two military hardware.
According to the Pentagon, the Harpoon missile system will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to carry out anti-surface warfare missions in defense of critical sea lanes while enhancing interoperability 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,” the Pentagon said.
The sale of ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air launched missiles is estimated to cost $92 million, while 16 MK 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes, and three MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes are estimated to cost $63 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in two separate notifications to the US Congress. While the Harpoon missiles will be manufactured by Boeing, the torpedoes would be supplied by Raytheon, the notification added.
The Pentagon said the proposed sale of military equipment will support US’ foreign policy and national security by helping to strengthen the strategic relationship it shares with India. “[It will] improve the security of a major defence partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” it added.
The proposed defence support, however, will not alter the military balance in the region, the Pentagon assured India in both its notifications.