India to Buy Harpoon Missile Through FMS Route

By admin • September 6th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – Indo-US military ties are gaining momentum yet again as another crucial arms contract has been signed between the two nations and is being pursued under the foreign military sales (FMS) route.

As per the deal, India will acquire 24 Harpoon Block- II anti-ship missiles which will equip the Jaguar fighters within the Indian Air Force (IAF). The deal is worth $ 170 million and will be conducted as a direct deal between the Indian and US governments.

According to sources, US major Boeing will be the prime contractor in the deal.

The addition of Harpoon Block- II anti-ship missiles will give the IAF the much-needed edge in its maritime warfare capability. The Harpoon Block -II is the advanced version of the subsonic missile capable of striking land-based targets and ships.

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launched from surface ships, submarines and aircraft.

The current fleet of Jaguar maritime strike variant fighters with the IAF have been upgraded over the years with IAI ELta’s EL/M-2032 radar and improved electronic defense systems.

At present, the Jaguars are limited to carrying the vintage Sea Eagle missiles and their land attack capabilities have not kept pace, either. The addition of the Block -II Harpoons, with their dual sea-land attack capabilities, will make the Jaguar IM fleet a robust maritime threat .

India has acquired a wide array of military equipment from the US in the recent past. The most expensive Indo-American defence deal till now is worth around $3.5 billion for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft. This deal is about to be finalized.

Last year, the $2.1 billion contract for eight Boeing P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft was finalized. Other deals in the past include the $962 million deal for six C-130J `Super Hercules’ planes in 2007.

Apparently, most of the Indo-US deals are direct government-to-government deals or FMS route wherein there are no global tenders floated.

The upsurge in the Indo-US military deals has made traditional allies of India like Russia and Israel a bit concerned. The US is also trying to sell Lockheed Martin F-16IN Super Viper and Boeing F-18 Super Hornet combat aircraft to the IAF besides the CH-47F Chinook and Apache Longbow AH 64D helicopters.

Source: India Defence Online

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