India To Get MK 54 Torpedoes And AGM-84L Harpoon Missiles
- On 13th April, 2020, , the US Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of 16 MK 54 all round up lightweight torpedoes and ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles.
- India intends to use the equipment on the Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I maritime aircraft.
MK 54 Lightweight Torpedos
- Previously, known as the Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT), it weighs around 608 pounds, while its warhead weighs around 96.8 pounds and is highly explosive.
- These torpedoes are used by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters and are their primary anti-submarine warfare weapon.
- The primary use of this equipment is for offensive purposes when deployed by anti-submarine warfare aircraft and helicopters, and for defensive purposes when deployed by ships and against fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and slow-moving, quiet, diesel-electric submarines.
AGM-84L Harpoon Block II Air-Launched Missiles
- The Harpoon missile system will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to conduct anti-surface warfare missions in defense of critical sea lanes.
- It uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit the designated target.
- Its warhead weighs over 500 pounds and is capable of delivering lethal firepower against targets, including land-based targets, coastal defence sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft and industrial or port facilities.
- Boeing’s P-8s are designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
- The P-8s India version is called the P-8I, and helps the Indian Navy carry out important maritime operations.
- India currently has eight of these aircraft and is scheduled to receive four more by 2022. One of these is expected to be delivered this year.
Improving Bilateral Relation
- 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.
- It will further help 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.
Enhancing India’s Strategic Capabilities
- It will help improve India’s capability to meet existing and future threats from enemy weapon systems.
- The Harpoon missile system can perform anti-surface warfare missions to defend critical sea lanes when integrated into the P-8I aircraft.
- The MK 54 lightweight torpedo will provide the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions.
- The enhanced capability will be used by India as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland security.