Under the United States’ Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, the United States Department of State has approved the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India. According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, (DSCA), the principal contractor for this deal will be Lockheed Martin. As per a statement released by them, the value of this potential is $2.6 billion.
The sales will only move forward from here as the Congress is also not required for the approval or disapproval of the potential sale. The DSCA has also submitted its certification that notifies the U.S. Congress of this sale.
If Congress does not take any action within the 30-day notification period, the sale will enter the execution phase.
The DSCA released statement said ” The proposed sale will provide India with the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions. It will also give the Nation an ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment. India will use this enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and strengthen its homeland defence.”
India has released a statement that states that India typically requires offsets and that any other offset agreement will be defined between India and the Contractor.
There are also request for personal training and training equipment along with the hardware requested by the Indian Government. the statement by U.S. government contractor engineering, logistics, and technical support services said
It also states that the sale will not alter the “basic military balance in the region”. however, this is a common language for such process notifications and not India or South Asia specific. This is also language that is found in U.S law, such as the Arms Control Export Act.
This sale comes on the heels of a few weeks of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan that began with an attack on an Indian security convoy in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, on February 14.
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