Coinciding with the visit of Defence Minister A K Antony to the US, the Pentagon has announced the sale of Harpoon missiles to India along with associated equipment and services for a total value of about USD 170 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of Harpoon Block II missiles.
The DSCA has said that India has requested a possible sale of 20 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles; 4 ATM-84L Harpoon Block II Exercise missiles; containers; training devices; spare and repair parts.
India has also asked for technical support like support equipment, personnel training and equipment, technical data and publications, contractor engineering and logistics support services and other related elements of logistics support, 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 modernize 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 offset 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.
"There may be US Government or contractor personnel in the country on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical and management oversight and support requirements," the Pentagon has said.
There will not be any adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale, the Pentagon added.