WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department on Wednesday cleared the government of India to purchase two Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures Self-Protection Suites (SPS) for a pair of Boeing-made 777 aircraft.
The systems, which come with an estimated $190 million price tag, will be used for “head of state” aircraft. India is in the process of procuring two Boeing 777-300ER jets for VIP transport.
The 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 which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” a statement on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. “The SPS will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.”
Included in the SPS package are infrared and electronic warfare countermeasures suites, countermeasure dispensing systems, and missile warning sensors, along with a variety of assemblies and associated technical support. Work will primarily be done at Boeing’s Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, facilities. Industrial offsets are expected, but the details will be defined at a later date.
DSCA notifications do not represent final sales; if cleared by the Senate, the potential sale enters negotiations, meaning dollar totals and quantities can change.
The notification is the first Foreign Military Sale cleared for India since last June. There had been concerns that India may be barred from buying more equipment under the anti-Russian law CAATSA, or the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act; however, supporters of India in the U.S. government are working on a waiver process, given India’s increased importance for American interests in the Pacific.