WASHINGTON/NEW DELHI:The US Department of State has approved the sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters to India under its foreign military sales (FMS) programme. The value of the potential is $2.6 billion, as per a statement released on April 2 by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the body that administers the FMS programme. The principal contractor for the deal will be Lockheed Martin.
The DSCA submitted its certification notifying the US Congress of the possible sale, kicking-off a 30-day notification period. Congress is not required to approve or disapprove the potential sale. If it simply takes no action for the 30-day period, the sale moves forward.
In the case of India and most other non-NATO countries, Congress must be notified for sales of major defence equipment of $14 million and above, defence articles and services of $50 million and above and design and construction services of $200 million and above.
The statement notes that India typically requires offsets and that any offset agreement will be defined between India and the contractor.
Along with the hardware requested by the Indian government, there are requests for personnel training and training equipment, US government contractor engineering, logistics and technical support services, the statement said.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US 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 DSCA notification said.