New Delhi: Amid ongoing Sino-India standoff in eastern Ladakh along Line of Actual Control (LAC), the United States has approved India's request to buy USD 90 million worth of equipment, spare parts and logistical support for its fleet of C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft.
In its notification to the Congress, the Pentagon said the proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and improve the security of a major defence partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.
India has sought the items including aircraft consumable spares and repair/return parts; ground support and equipment; Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) fire extinguisher cartridges; flare cartridges; BBU-35/B cartridge impulse squibs.
India has also ordered for one spare AN/ALR-56M Advanced Radar Warning Receiver shipset; spare AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System shipset; ten Lightweight Night Vision Binocular (F5032); ten AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggle (NVG)(F4949); GPS and Electronic Warfare.
It also sought instruments and lab equipment support; joint mission planning system; cryptographic device spares and loaders; software and software support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training and training equipment; contractor engineering, technical and logistical support, and other related elements of programme support.
The proposed sale ensures that the previously procured aircraft operates effectively to serve the needs of the Indian Air Force, Army and Navy transport requirements, local and international humanitarian assistance and regional disaster relief, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency's notification.
This deal sale of spares and services will enable the Indian Air Force to sustain a higher mission-ready status fleet, it said, adding India will have no difficulty absorbing this additional sustainment support. It further said that the proposed sale of this equipment and support worth USD 90 million will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
Notification of such major sales is mandatory under the Arms Export Control Act. Lawmakers have 30 days to review the proposed sale. The sale would be executed by defence major Lockheed-Martin.
India is one of the 17 countries to whom the US has sold its C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The Indian Air Force currently operates a fleet of five C-130J-30s. India has placed order for an additional six C-130J-30s Super Hercules aircraft.
"From the highest landing strip in the world to austere runways almost destroyed by natural disasters, the C-130J goes where other airlifters can't, won't or don't go. It's a workhorse that's in operation around the world, flying in every environment and mission scenario required every day and everywhere," Lockheed says on its website.
(With PTI Inputs)