The US has approved the sale of 13 naval guns and related equipment worth $1 billion to India to help it “meet current and future threats”, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
While addressing the media, the DSCA said on Wednesday that the State Department approved the sale of the anti-surface warfare and anti-air defence MK 45 5 inch/62 calibre (MOD 4) naval guns and the agency notified Congress about it on Tuesday clearing the way for the deal to go through.
The statement said that India has requested to buy up to 13 MK-45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and 3,500 D349 Projectile, 5”/54 MK-92 MOD 1 ammunition.
The deal also includes other ammunition, spare parts, personnel training and equipment training, publications and technical data, transportation, US government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. The total estimated cost is $1.0210 billion.
The proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by improving the security of a strategic regional partner.
According to US security experts here, the sale will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems. The MK-45 Gun System will provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defence missions while enhancing interoperability with the US and other allied forces.
India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence. The proposed sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Minneapolis, Minnesota, with gun manufacturing in Louisville, Kentucky.
There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Any offset agreement required by India will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s), said the release by DSCA.
The deal is the latest development in the growing defence ties between India and US and the announcement came as the two countries were holding a joint military exercise, Tiger Triumph from a naval base in Vishakhapatnam.
“Military collaboration between India and the United States is a result of growing, high-level trust and consistent effort to broaden the ways in which we can work together,” US Ambassador Kenneth Juster said at the start of the exercise last week.
The DSCA announcement included a clarification that “the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”