WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department has cleared India to buy two packages of sea-based munitions, with a combined $155 million price tag.
New Delhi seeks to purchase 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, with an estimated price tag of $92 million, as well as 16 Mk 54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes, worth an estimated $63 million.
The notifications were posted on the website of the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency. DSCA notifications are not final sales; once cleared by Congress, the sales enter negotiations, during which quantities and costs can shift.
Both weapons will be fitted onto India’s existing fleet of P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft “in defense of critical sea lanes while enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allied forces,” according to the DSCA announcement. “India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”
The Harpoons are produced by Boeing, while the torpedoes are built by Raytheon. Both deals will require commercial offsets, to be negotiated later in the process.
The potential sales mark the third and fourth packages requested by India and cleared by DSCA in fiscal 2020. Also requested were a Mk 45 naval gun system ($1 billion) and an integrated air defense system ($1.867 billion).
Since the start of FY17, India has been cleared for 10 weapon requests, for an estimated total of $7.85 billion.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.