US government clears sale of $1 billion worth of naval guns to India
The United States on Wednesday cleared the sale of 13 MK 45 anti-surface and anti-air naval gun systems, along with ammunition and related add-ons, to India for an estimated cost of $1.02 billion.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strategic regional partner,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, a pat of the US department of defense, said in a statement on Wednesday.
US congress was notified of the proposed sale on Tuesday.
“The proposed sale will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems,” the DSCA said further in the statement.
The DSCA states that the MK-45 Gun System will provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defense missions while enhancing interoperability with US and other allied forces. “India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the statement read.
The gun systems are made by BAE Systems Land. No delivery dates have been made available yet.
The gun systems are currently being used by the US navy and the navies of South Korea, Japan and Denmark, according to BAE website, which added that gun’s range more than 20 nautical miles (36 km).
India has stepped up defense purchases from the United States in recent years as part of a growing defense relationship that includes greater interoperability and joint exercises — the first tri-services exercises are currently under way in India.
From zero in 2008, India-US defense trade went up to $15 billion in 2018, facilitated by the signing of key foundational agreements to enhance interoperability and changes in the US export regime, upgrading India to the status of NATO allies for the sale of sensitive defense equipment.