On April 14, 2020, According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the US (United States) President Donald Trump’s administration has approved the sale of Harpoon Block II air-launched anti-ship missiles & MK 54 lightweight torpedoes priced a total of $ 155 million to India to combat regional threats and increase the security of its soil.In this regard, 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Air Launched Missiles priced at $ 92 million, while 16 MK (Mark) 54 All Up Round Lightweight Torpedoes and three MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes will be given to India for $ 63 million.
i.The 3.84-metre long anti-ship Harpoon missiles manufactured by Boeing & the torpedoes supplied by Raytheon, would be integrated with India’s P-8I aircraft (also known as the “submarine killer”) to perform surface-to-surface warfare in defence of critical sea lanes while enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allied forces.
- Capable of having 500-pound penetration, this multi-mission aircraft has a high-explosive blast warhead that provides it with enough firepower to destroy coastal defence and surface-to-air missile sites, industrial installations and docked ships.
- It is built for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
- While Torpedo will provide the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions.
iii.This sale will be helpful in US foreign policy and national security and will strengthen the India-US strategic relationship.
About P-8I aircraft:
- It is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft that Boeing developed as a replacement for the US Navy’s ageing P-3 fleet. Indian Navy became the first international customer for the P-8 aircraft having about $ $ 2.1 billion contract on Jan 1, 2009, for 8 aircraft.
- It has high speed, high endurance of 10 hours & is capable of thrusting a corrective response and maintaining surveillance over India’s immediate and extended areas of interest.
About Defense Security Cooperation Agency:
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
Parent organization– United States Department of Defense