Washington: In a move aimed at strengthening the bilateral strategic ties and improving the security of a major defensive partner in the Indo-Pacific region, the United States has approved the sale of Harpoon Joint Common Test Set (JCTS) and related equipment to India for an estimated cost of USD 82 million.
An official statement said the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), earlier on Monday, delivered the required certification notifying the US Congress of this possible sale.
“The Government of India has requested to buy one Harpoon Joint Common Test Set (JCTS). Also included is one Harpoon Intermediate Level maintenance station; spare and repair parts, support, and test equipment; publications and technical documentation; personnel training; US Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and programme support. The estimated total cost is USD 82 million,” PTI quoted the official statement as saying.
The DSCA release said “this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and 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”.
The US had during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country earlier in June 2016 recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner”.
This commits the United States to facilitate technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners, and industry collaboration for defence co-production and co-development.
The proposed Foreign Military Sale will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing it with flexible and efficient Harpoon missile maintenance capabilities to ensure maximum force readiness, according to the US State Department.
Stating the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the Pentagon noted that India will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The Harpoon missile is the world’s most successful anti-ship missile.