US clears sale of anti-submarine torpedoes to Indian Navy

The United States has cleared the potential sale of anti-submarine torpedoes for the eight P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft of the Indian Navy.

"We welcome the news that the US Congress has been officially notified of the potential sale of Mk-54 Lightweight Torpedoes to the Indian Navy," the US embassy said in a release.

The Mk-54 is the most advanced lightweight torpedo in the US Navy inventory and is intended to be employed with the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, eight of which are currently under construction for India in the US at Boeing facilities there.

The P-8I, equipped with Mk-54 torpedoes, will provide highly effective long-range anti-submarine warfare capabilities for the Indian Navy, it said.

"The final content and price for the deal will be determined during discussions with the Government of India.

This sale reflects the mutual benefits of the US-India security partnership," they said.

For India, the combined sale of the P-8I aircraft with the Mk-54 torpedoes will add to India's anti-submarine capability as it expands its ability to protect India and the critical sea lanes of the Indian Ocean, it said.

In a USD 2.1 billion deal in 2009, India had ordered eight P-8Is from the US defence major Boeing through the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) route.

The aircraft are expected to start joining the Indian Navy fleet in the next two years.

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