Indian Navy Updates

What are MK 54 torpedoes, AGM-84L Harpoon missiles that US has cleared for sale to India?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: India-US arms trade

The US has approved a military sale to India of 16 MK 54 all round up lightweight torpedoes and ten AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles. India plans to use the equipment requested in both the deals on the Indian Navy’s Boeing P-8I maritime aircraft.

What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)” , sometimes seen in the news? (CSP 2018) .

MK 54 lightweight torpedo

  • The MK 54 lightweight torpedo is known as the Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo (LHT).
  • It weighs around 608 pounds, while its warhead weighs around 96.8 pounds and is highly explosive.
  • The primary use of this equipment is for offensive purposes when deployed by anti-submarine warfare aircraft and helicopters, and for defensive purposes when deployed by ships and against fast, deep-diving nuclear submarines and slow-moving, quiet, diesel-electric submarines.

AGM-84L Harpoon Block II air-launched missiles

  • The Harpoon missile system will be integrated into the P-8I aircraft to conduct anti-surface warfare missions in defence of critical sea lanes.
  • It uses GPS-aided inertial navigation to hit the designated target.
  • Its warhead weighs over 500 pounds and is capable of delivering lethal firepower against targets, including land-based targets, coastal defence sites, surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft and industrial or port facilities.

About P-8I aircraft

  • Boeing’s P-8s are designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
  • The P-8s India version is called the P-8I, and helps the Indian Navy carry out important maritime operations.
  • According to Boeing, the aircraft can surpass 25,000 flight hours, and gives the Navy a significant edge in the strategically important Indian Ocean.
  • India currently has eight of these aircraft and is scheduled to receive four more by 2022.

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