• An Indian P-8I. (Credit: IN)
    An Indian P-8I. (Credit: IN)

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) of India has signed an agreement with the US to acquire Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes to be fitted on P-8I MPA aircraft.

To increase its anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities, India is investing heavily in the procurement of advanced airborne platforms such as Boeing P-8I Multi-mission Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters.

These acquisitions are expected to drive the procurement of several cutting-edge weapon systems, including torpedoes, anti-ship and land-attack missiles.

According to GlobalData’s estimates, India is expected to spend about US$263m on procuring Varunastra, Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and heavyweight torpedoes between 2021-2031.

“This procurement is independent of the recent Sino-Russian joint patrol in the Tsugaru Strait and warming ties between China and Russia. However, this procurement is an example of India moving closer to the US and western equipment than its traditional ally," Chandan Kumar Nayak, Defence Analyst at GlobalData, said.

Additionally, the sale of MK-54 torpedoes will provide the Indian Navy (IN) the ability to strike Chinese threats in the Indian Ocean.

“India will seek to maintain its military supremacy in the Indian Ocean and therefore, we expect that the IN will procure further capabilities to counter not just overt naval activity, but any covert designs from its neighbors," Nayak said.

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