Defence Deals Current Affairs - 2020

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US approves sale of 13 MK45 Naval gun worth $1 billion to India

United States of America (USA) has approved Foreign Military Sale to India of 13 MK45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) Naval guns and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.0210 billion. The principal contractor in this India-US defence deal will be BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Minneapolis, Minnesota with gun manufacturing in Louisville, Kentucky.

Significance of sale to India

MK-45 Gun System will provide India Navy lethal capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defence missions. It will also enhance its interoperability with US and its other allied forces. It will be used by India as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. This proposed sale will support US’s foreign policy and national security by improving the security of strategic regional partner. Moreover, this proposed sale and support will also not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Background

The sale of these naval guns was approved based on India’s request to buy 13 such guns along with 3,500 D349 Projectile, 5″/54 MK 92 MOD 1 Ammunition including other ammunition, spare parts, personnel training and equipment training, publications and technical data etc. With this, India has become one of handful few countries that US decided to sell its latest version (Mod 4) of its naval guns. The other countries to which US has sold MOD 4 naval guns so far are Australia, South Korea and Japan. It also has given one to Thailand.

IAF inducts 8 US-made Apache AH-64E helicopters at Pathankot Air Force station

The Indian Air Force inducted 8 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters at Pathankot Air Force station. The Apache AH-64E helicopters are made by US company Boeing and will give a major boots to combat capabilities of Indian Air Force.

Key Highlights

Aircraft were formally inducted at induction ceremony held at Pathankot Air Force station with Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa as the chief guest. The ceremonial key was handed over by Boeing company.

Apache helicopters are being purchased to replace Mi-35 fleet. These helicopters will be deployed in Western regions of India.

Background: In September 2015, IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with US government and Boeing Ltd for 22 Apache helicopters. The first 8 helicopters have been delivered on schedule and last batch of helicopters is to be delivered by March 2020.

About AH-64E Apache

It is one of world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, and is flown by the US Army.

Features:

It has capability to shoot fire and forget anti tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions.

It is also capable of delivering variety of weapons such as: air to ground Hellfire missiles, 70 mm Hydra rockets and air to air Stinger missiles.

It has modern EW (Electronic Warfare) capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in a network centric aerial warfare.

It also carries one 30 mm chain gun with 1200 rounds as part of area weapon sub system.

To add to lethality of helicopter, it carries fire control radar that has a 360° coverage and nose mounted sensor suite for target acquisition as well as night vision systems.

These are day/night, all weather capable and have high agility and survivability against battle damage.