Washington: The US State Department has approved the sale of $96 million worth of follow-on support for C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to India to enable the Indian Air Force to remain mission-ready for disaster relief and international humanitarian assistance needs like in quake-hit neighbouring Nepal.
Pentagon's arm handing foreign military sales notified the US Congress of this possible sale to India last week saying the "proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region."
"This proposed sale of additional equipment and support will enable the Indian Air Force to sustain a higher mission-ready status for its C-130J fleet," the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.
India needs this support for its Super Hercules aircraft to ensure its aircraft operate effectively to serve its transport, local and international humanitarian assistance, and regional disaster relief needs, the agency said.
India, it said has requested for follow on support for five years for their fleet of C-130J Super Hercules that includes 8 spare AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing Systems and 6 spare AN/ALR-56M Advanced Radar Warning Receivers. It also wants to buy up to 9,000 flare cartridges, spare and repair parts, configuration updates, support and test equipment, publications and technical data, technical services, personnel training and training equipment.
"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship," DSCA said.
It would also help "improve the capabilities of a major South Asian partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for economic progress and stability in South Asia."
The principal contractor will be the Lockheed-Martin Company in Marietta, Georgia, DSCA said.
There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, it said.
The proposed sale will also not require the assignment of any additional US Government or contractor personnel to India.
There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale, DSCA said.