India Boosts Anti-Submarine Warfare Capacity as it Buys Torpedoes for P-8 Spy Jet From US
© MC3 Jason KofonowAviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Michael Martin, left,, and Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Cecilia Duran, both assigned to the Pro's Nest of Patrol Squadron (VP) 30, load an AGM-84K SLAM-ER missile on a P-8A Poseidon in preparation for a conventional weapons technical proficiency inspection.
The US government allowed its firms to supply torpedoes and air-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles to India for a combined cost of $155 million in April last year. Earlier this week, Boeing delivered the 11th P-8 long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine aircraft to the Indian Navy.
The Indian Navy signed a $58 million deal with the US to buy MK-54 Torpedo and Expendable (chaff and flares) for its P-8 long-range maritime reconnaissance jet on Friday.
"These weapons are the outfit for P-8I Aircraft which are used for long-range maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare (ASV),” the Indian defence ministry said.
In April 2020, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency gave a green light to the possible sale to the government of India of 16 MK 54 All-Up-Round Lightweight Torpedoes and three MK 54 Exercise Torpedoes.
The Indian navy will also sign a deal to purchase 10 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles and related equipment at an estimated $92 million shortly.
The deal will also include containers, spare and repair parts, and Specialised Assignment Airlift Missions, the US State Department said when it approved the sale last year.
The MK 54 lightweight torpedoes are used by US surface ships, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters as their primary anti-submarine warfare weapon.
The P-8 patrol aircraft is an integral part of the Indian Navy’s fleet and has been deployed in the Indian Ocean to track the movement of submarines of rival navies.