The US State Department cleared the sale of sophisticated MA-45 naval guns worth $1 billion to India soon after PM Modi’s recent US tour. The MK-45 guns will enhance India’s naval capabilities, particularly in the Arabian Sea.
In a press statement, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said that the government has approved military sale to India of up to 13 MK-45 5 inch/62 calibre naval guns.
The 5-inch/54 caliber (Mk 45) lightweight gun is a U.S. naval artillery gun mount consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L54 Mark 19 gun on the Mark 45 mount. The DSCA delivered the required certification by notifying the Congress of this possible sale on November 19.
The statement said that India has requested to buy up to 13 MK-45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and 3,500 D349 Projectile, 5″/54 MK-92 MOD 1 ammunition.
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 Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
“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 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 military purchases from the United States in recent years as part of a growing defence relationship that includes greater interoperability and joint exercises.
“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 part of the US department of defence, said in a statement.
From zero in 2008, India-US defence 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 defence equipments.
There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. Any offset agreement required by India will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s), said the release by DSCA.