20:52 GMT +319 June 2019
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    The US State Department has approved the sale of two Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) Self Protection Suites (SPS) for Boeing aircraft to be used in India at an estimated cost of $190 million. The system will protect VVIP aircraft from man-portable missiles.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The system will be installed on two Boeing 777 Head of State Aircraft in India, bringing the Air India One aircraft to par with Air Force One. The Head of State Aircraft are used by the Indian prime minister and president.

    READ MORE: Germany Says Nein to US F-35 Jets, to Choose Between Boeing and Airbus – Report

    "The proposed sale will improve India's capability to deter regional threats" with the SPS facilitating "a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats", a statement issued by the US State Department reads.

    In the request recently made to the US administration, the Indian government sought the purchase of LAIRCM, Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite, and a Counter-Measures Dispensing System to protect two Boeing-777 Head of State aircraft given the high-level threat to the prime minister and the president.

    "This potential sale would include 12 Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (6 installed and 6 spares); 8 LAIRCM System Processor Replacements; 23 Missile Warning Sensors; Five Counter-Measures Dispensing System", the US State Department statement further reads.

    The Defence Security Cooperation Agency has been asked by the State Department to issue the required certificate notifying the US Congress about the sale. Once the US Senate approves the deal, it will enter the negotiation stage and then the sale will be concluded. The prime contractor will be the Boeing Company, Oklahoma City, US.

    Once installed, the LAIRCAM system increases crew-warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced intermediate range missile systems. The missile warning subsystem will use multiple sensors to provide full spatial coverage.

    READ MORE: Boeing Gets Contract to Boost Readiness of Indian Navy's Patrol Aircraft

    While approving the deal, the Pentagon's DSCA said that the "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 Pentagon's Missile Defence Review (MDR) 2019 mentions that the United States has been discussing "potential missile defence cooperation" with India.

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    defence capabilities, Air Force One, missile, Boeing, India, United States
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