The US has approved India’s request to purchase USD 90 million worth of military hardware and services in support of its fleet of C-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and improve the security of a “Major Defence Partner”, said Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) of the Department of Defence.
In a major sales notification to Congress, DSCA said that India continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.
Among the requests made by India include aircraft consumables spares and repair/return parts; Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) fire extinguisher cartridges; flare cartridges; Advanced Radar Warning Receiver shipset; 10 Lightweight Night Vision Binocular; 10 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggle; GPS; Electronic Warfare; instruments and lab equipment support. The estimated total amount is USD 90 million.
The Pentagon said that the proposed sale ensures the previously procured aircraft operates effectively to serve the needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Army and the Navy transport requirements, local and international humanitarian assistance, and regional disaster relief.
This sale of spares and services will enable the IAF to sustain a mission-ready status with respect to the C-130J transport. India will have no difficulty absorbing this additional sustainment support, it said.
According to the Pentagon, the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The prime contractor will be Lockheed-Martin Company, Marietta, Georgia.
In a major move in 2016, the US had designated India a “Major Defence Partner” intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.