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Current Affairs

US to sell M54 Torpadoes and Harpoon missiles to India

Date: 16 April 2020 Tags: Military

Issue

The US Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of M54 Torpadoes and Harpoon missiles.

 

Background

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner.

 

Details

  • 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.

  • In addition it has approved 16 MK 54 all round up lightweight torpedoes and related equipment at an estimated cost of $63 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.

  • 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.

  • India currently has eight of these aircraft and is scheduled to receive four more by 2022. One of these is expected to be delivered this year.

  • Previously, the MK 54 lightweight torpedo was known as the Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT). It weighs around 608 pounds, while its warhead weighs around 96.8 pounds and is highly explosive. These torpedoes are used by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters and are their primary anti-submarine warfare weapon.

  • The primary use of this equipment is for offensive purposes when deployed by anti-submarine 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.

  • The Harpoon was initially developed for the US Navy in 1983 and was later adapted for use on the B-52H bombers. The Harpoon was first deployed in 1977 and is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system.

  • The Harpoon missile 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.