Kautilya Academy 15-04-2020
The deal for the sale of Harpoon Block II air launched missile and torpedoes to India has been cleared by The United States (US). The torpedoes and anti-ship missiles will be worth of $155 million and will be integrated with the P-81 aircraft.
The US has notified Congress regarding its sale to India which will help in the enhancement of the latter’s deterrence capabilities against the rising regional threat.
The Pentagon in its statement mentioned that the US Department has cleared the sale due to the request from Indian government. The demand can be seen in the backdrop of the rising threats from China in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region.
The sale will improve India’s capability against regional threats and will help in strengthening its homeland defense. It will also help India to face current and future threats from the enemy weapon systems.
Cost of Harpoon Block II air missile and Lightweight Torpedoes
• The 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles with a range of 124 km are estimated to be of $92 million.
• The 16 MK 54 All Up Round lightweight Torpedoes and three other MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes will be expected to cost $63 million.
Harpoon Block II Air Missile:
As per Pentagon, the Harpoon missile system will be integrated into P-81 aircraft that will conduct ani-surface warfare missions.
The missile is 3.84 meters long and has a 500-pound penetration. It has a high explosive blast warhead that can destroy coastal defense and surface to air missile strikes, docked ships and industrial installations.
The missile will be manufactured by Boeing and integrated into P-81 aircraft which is an Indian variant of Boeing’s P-8s. The multi-mission P-81 aircraft is designed for anti-surface war, long-range anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and intelligence and for a reconnaissance mission.
The strategic partnership between India and the US:
As per the statement from the Pentagon, the sale will support the national security and foreign policy of the US. It will help in strengthening the US-India strategic relationship and will improve the security of the major partner.
The US sees India as an important force of peace, political stability, economic progress in the South Asian Region and Indo-Pacific.
China has been engaged in contesting territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing has also progressed in militarising its man-made islands, which it says it has a complete right to defend.
Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei have counter claimed China’s claimed sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. While in the East China Sea, China has territorial disputes against Japan.
The East China Sea and The South China Sea being rich in oil, mineral and other natural resources, is one of the reasons for the wide disputes among the countries