India Scraps $1 Bln Defence Purchase Plan to Acquire MK-45 Naval Guns From US
12:33 GMT 02.11.2021 (Updated: 10:04 GMT 30.11.2022)
The Trump administration approved the sale of 13 MK-45 naval guns and related equipment at an estimated cost of around $1 billion in November 2019. These anti-surface and anti-air guns were being purchased to enhance the lethal capabilities of the Indian Navy.
The Indian Defence Ministry announced the foreclosure of over a billion-dollar deal with the US on Tuesday, paving the way for the domestic manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited to fill the requirement at the earliest possible date.
"As a further impetus to 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (Self-reliant India), a global procurement case of naval guns has been foreclosed, with these guns' quantity added to the upgraded Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) being manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)", the Defence Ministry said.
These guns are to be fitted on four Visakhapatnam-class destroyers
and seven Project 17A stealth frigates.
The ministry said that BHEL-made SRGM provide niche capabilities to engaging fast-manoeuvring targets like missiles and fast attack crafts using guided munitions and range extensions.
While approving the American MK-45, manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in November 2019 that the proposed sale would improve India's capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapons systems.
"The MK-45 Gun System
will provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defence missions while enhancing interoperability with US and other allied forces", the notification read.
If the deal had gone through, the Indian Navy would have become one of the few countries to which the US has decided to sell its latest version (Mod 4) of naval guns.