Indian P-8Is to have Harpoon II missiles
By Greg Waldron
India plans to buy Boeing AGM-84L Harpoon II anti-ship missiles and related equipment for its future fleet of P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress that India has requested a possible purchase of 21 AGM-84Ls and five training missiles for an estimated $200 million.
The proposed deal also includes a range of ancillary equipment, such as captive air training missiles, containers, parts, support and test equipment, publications and training.
"India intends to use the missiles on its navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft, which will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defence of critical sea lines of communication," says the DSCA.
India has already purchased Harpoon IIs for its Sepecat Jaguar strike aircraft.
According to Boeing, the Harpoon Block II is equipped with a 226kg (500lb) blast/fragmentation warhead, and can attack both land and sea targets.
Separately, Boeing says India's Bharat Electronics (BEL) has delivered Indian-designed identification friend or foe equipment for installation on its P-8Is.
"This delivery is another positive step in our industrial participation effort with India," says Vivek Lall, vice president, Boeing Defence, Space & Security India.
To date, other indigenous P-8I deliveries include BEL's Data Link II communications system, Avantel's mobile satellite system and the Electronic Corporation of India's speech secrecy system.
In January 2009 India signed a contract for eight P-8Is. Boeing aims to deliver the first aircraft within 48 months of the original contract signing.