The Pentagon, the United States' apex military body, has notified the Congress of its decision to sell anti-ship Harpoon missiles to India at an estimated cost of $200 million, arguing that it will strengthen the India-US strategic relationship and improve security of an important partner.
The package under the foreign military sale route includes more than a dozen UGM-84L Harpoon Block II Encapsulated Missiles, 10 UTM-84L Harpoon Encapsulated Training missiles, and two Encapsulated Harpoon certification training vehicles, the US Department of Defence's Defence Security Cooperation Agency said.
"The estimated cost is $200 million," it said, adding that the Harpoon missile system (to be manufactured by Boeing) will be employed on the Indian Navy's Shishumar class submarine and will provide enhanced capabilities in defence of critical sea lines of communication.
India has already purchased Harpoon missiles for integration on Indian Air Force Jaguar aircraft and Indian Navy P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, and should have little difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces, it said in its notification to the Congress.
"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia," the Pentagon said, adding that the this proposed sale of Harpoon missiles will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
"In accordance with the Indian Defence Procurement Policy, a contractor may be expected to conclude offset agreements with the Government of India but no offset agreement is currently known to have been proposed in connection with this potential sale," it said.