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US approves sale of two missile defence systems to India to protect aircraft flying President, PM

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The US has agreed to sell two advanced to for two Boeing-777 Head-of-State aircraft for an estimated cost of USD 190 million, a decision that will enhance the security of the planes flying the and the prime minister.

According to the Pentagon, the sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.

The approved the purchase of the two systems known as Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS) for an estimated cost of USD 190 million, the (DSCA) said in a notification to the on Wednesday.

The US decision came after the recently made the request for LAIRCM and SPS, given the high-level threat to the prime minister and the

The defence systems, which would bring the security of 'One' at par with that of 'Air Force One' used by the American President, would be installed in two 777 Head-of-State aircraft, the said.

The plans to buy two 777 ERs from the national carrier for this specific purpose. Unlike in the past, the two aircraft would not be used for commercial purposes by

The purpose of the LAIRCM programme is to protect large aircraft from man-portable missiles. Once installed, the LAIRCM system increases crew-warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced intermediate range missile systems, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

The missile warning subsystem will use multiple sensors to provide full spatial coverage.

The counter-measures subsystem will use mounted in pointer-tracker turret assemblies. It also automatically counters advanced with no action required by the crew.

The pilot will simply be informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed.

Observing that it will improve India's capability to deter regional threats, the Congressional notification said the SPS will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.

"India will have no problem absorbing and using this system," the DSCA statement said.

The department said the proposed sale will not "alter the basic military balance in the region".

The will be the Company. "The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor," the DSCA statement said.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of one additional US representative to India, it said.

According to the notification, India requested to buy two SPS consisting of AN/AAQ 24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), ALQ-211(V)8 Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) and AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) to protect two (2) Boeing-777 Head-of-State aircraft.

"This potential sale would include twelve Guardian Transmitter Assemblies AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (6 installed and 6 spares), eight (8) LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR) AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (2 installed and 6 spares); twenty-three (23) Missile Warning Sensors (MWS) for AN/AAQ-24 (V)N (12 installed and 11 spares), five (5) AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) (2 installed and 3 spares)," the notification said.

Also included in this sale are Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (AIDEWS), LAIRCM CIURs, SCAs, HCCs, and UDM cards, initial spares, consumables, repair and return support and support equipment.

The US is the second-largest arms supplier to India. It has already recognised India as a "major defence partner", a status that which commits the US to facilitate technology sharing with India.

In 2018, the US granted India Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status. India is the only South Asian country to get STA1 status and third Asian country after and The status eases India's defence procurement from the US.

Last year India and the US signed the COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) to facilitate interoperability between the two militaries and sale of high

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 16:25 IST
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