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US proposal to sell 24 Harpoon missiles to India

Washington, September 10
The US today announced that it proposed to sell 24 Harpoon- II anti-ship missiles to India in a deal worth more than $ 170 million.

Pentagon has notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale to India of Harpoon-II missiles, which would arm squadrons of the maritime-role version of Jaguar warplanes of the Indian Air Force.

Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has said India had requested for a possible sale of 20 AGM-84L Harpoon missiles, which are fired from fixed-wing aircraft, and 4 ATM-84L Harpoon Block- II Exercise missiles, containers, training devices, spare and repair parts. If the Harpoon deal goes through, it would be the fourth major US arms sales to India over the last three years.

Washington has already sold to Indian military, ANTPQ37 weapon-locating radars, six giant Hercules C-130J transport aircraft and eight new maritime P-8 reconnaissance aircraft.

India has also asked for supply/technical support, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, technical data and publications, US government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, the DSCA has said.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important partner and to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in South Asia," the Pentagon said.

"India intends to use the Harpoon missiles to modernise its Air Force Anti-Surface Warfare mission capabilities and improve its naval operational flexibility.

"The missiles will assist the Indian Navy to develop and enhance standardisation and operational ability with the United States. India will have no difficulty absorbing these missiles into its armed forces," the Pentagon added.

The department of defence has said that the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be the Boeing Company of St Louis, Missouri and there are no known off- set agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

"Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional US government or contractor representatives to India permanently.

This would be the first sale of American missiles to India. US defence majors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and others are also bidding for other lucrative Indian contracts, including an estimated $ 10 billion sale of 126 fighter jets and $3 billion sale of 246 light helicopters.

Besides this, US companies like General Electric and Westinghouse would be bidding for sale of nuclear reactors to India. PTI

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