Washington: The Donald Trump administration has notified to the United States Congress its determination to sell $1 billion worth of naval guns to India for use against warships, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment, in a move that would enhance the lethal capabilities of the Indian Navy.
The proposed foreign military sale of up to 13 MK-45 5inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and related equipment is at an estimated cost of $1.0210 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its notification to the Congress on Tuesday.
To be manufactured by the BAE Systems Land and Armaments, the proposed sale will improve India's capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems, it said.
"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 added.
India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence, it said, adding that the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
According to the notification, this notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
With this, India has become one of the few countries that the US decided to sell its latest version (Mod 4) of its naval guns.
The other countries to have been sold with MOD 4 naval guns so far are Australia, Japan and South Korea. The one given to Thailand is an upgraded MOD 4 version. The US has also determined to sell these to a few other allies and friends including Britain and Canada.