US approves sale of Integrated Air Defence Weapon System to India

Washington: The US has approved the sale of an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System to India for an estimated cost of USD 1.9 billion to modernise its armed forces and to expand its existing air defence architecture to counter threats posed by air attacks.

The Trump Administration has notified to the US Congress of its determination to sell India the Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS), the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said Monday.

The entire system is estimated to cost USD 1.867 billion, the State Department has told the Congress in a notification.

“India intends to use these defence articles and services to modernise its armed forces, and to expand its existing air defence architecture to counter threats posed by air attack, the State Department said.

The proposed sale comes amidst the massive military modernisation by China which is also flexing its military muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

It also comes ahead of a possible visit by President Donald Trump to India later this month.

Trump is set to visit India on a two-day trip between February 23 and 26 and both sides are in the process of fine-tuning his schedule, according to sources in New Delhi.

India and the US are set to seal a trade deal during Trump’s planned visit, they said.

The proposed sale IADWS will contribute to India’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between India, the US, and other allies, the State Department added.

According to the notification, India had requested the US to buy an IADWS. The request was for five AN/MPQ-64Fl Sentinel radar systems; one hundred eighteen AMRAAM AIM-120C-7/C-8 missiles; three AMRAAM Guidance Sections; four AMRAAM Control Sections; and one hundred thirty-four Stinger FIM-92L missiles.

Also included are thirty-two M4A1 rifles; M855 5.56mm cartridges; Fire Distribution Centers (FDC); Handheld Remote Terminals; Electrical Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor Systems; AMRAAM Non-Developmental Item-Airborne Instrumentation Units (NDIAIU); Multi-spectral Targeting System-Model A (MTS-A); and Canister Launchers (CN); High Mobility Launchers (HML).

Among other things included in the comprehensive sale is Dual Mount Stinger (DMS) Air Defence Systems and Vehicle Mounted Stinger Rapid Ranger Air Defence Systems.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region, the notification said.

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