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India requests Mk54 torpedoes for P-8Is

India has requested 32 Raytheon Mk54 lightweight torpedoes for use aboard its Boeing P-8I Neptune aircraft.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency estimates the cost of the deal at $86 million. The package also would include three recoverable exercise torpedoes and other related equipment and services.

The agency made no mention of whether India has requested Raytheon's Fish Hawk wing kit, which expands the Mk54's launch envelope by allowing it to be deployed from high altitudes. Raytheon's stand at February's Aero India air show near Bengaluru was promoting Fish Hawk.

"India intends to use the equipment on its P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft, which will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defence of critical sea lines of communication," said the DSCA.

The prime contractor will be Boeing, "and a yet to be identified US torpedo contractor," added the agency.

According to Raytheon's website, the Mk54 can engage submarines in both deep sea and littoral waters.

© Boeing

India is due to receive its first P-8I before January 2013. The aircraft is a variant of the US Navy's Boeing 737-based P-8A, which is undergoing testing. In January 2009 India ordered eight of the aircraft in a $2.1 billion deal, making it the type's first overseas customer. Uniquely, India's P-8Is will include an aft-mounted radar to provide 360° coverage and an air-to-air tracking mode.

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