New Delhi: India will buy lightweight torpedoes from the United States to arm the eight P-8I long-range, maritime patrol aircraft it's acquiring from Boeing. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the US Congress last week of a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of India for 32 MK-54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $86 million.
Eight such planes have already been contracted from Boeing under a $2.1-billion deal inked in January 2009. The first P-8I is slated for induction by early-2013. It is likely that India may exercise an option for four new P-8Is.
The Government of India has requested a possible sale of 32 MK-54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes, 3 recoverable exercise torpedoes, 1 training shape, containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, transportation, US Government and contractor representatives' technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
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 a key important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia.
India intends to use the torpedoes on its Indian Navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft, which will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defence of critical sea lines of communication.
The DSCA notification also mentioned that the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and a yet to be identified US torpedo contractor.