United States Approves Mark 45 Guns for India in $1 billion Deal
The United States' State Department has approved an arms deal valued at just over $1 billion, in which the U.S. could sell India up to 13 MK 45 5 inch/ 62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and related equipment, a press statement from the Department of Defense (DoD) said.
The 5-inch/54 caliber (Mk 45) lightweight gun is a U.S. naval artillery gun mount consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L54 Mark 19 gun on the Mark 45 mount. Originally designed and built by United Defense, it is now manufactured by BAE Systems Land & Armaments after the former was acquired.
The latest 5-inch/62 caliber version consists of a longer barrel L62 Mark 36 gun fitted on the same Mark 45 mount. The gun is designed for use against surface warships, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment to support amphibious operations. The gun mount features an automatic loader with a capacity of 20 rounds. These can be fired under full automatic control, taking a little over a minute to exhaust those rounds at maximum fire rate.
For sustained use, the gun mount would be occupied by a six-man crew (gun captain, panel operator, and four ammunition loaders) below deck to keep the gun continuously supplied with ammunition.
The proposed sale includes ammunition, spare parts, training of personnel and equipment, technical data, publications, technical and logistical assistance and transport.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the DoD body that implements the U.S.’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, delivered its certification of the proposed sale to the U.S. Congress, as per the statement. Congress has a thirty day window from when the certification is received to raise any objections to the sale.
The MK-45 Gun System will provide the capability to conduct antisurface warfare and anti-air defense missions while enhancing interoperability with U.S. and other allied forces. India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense."-- US Department of Defense
The sale approval was in response to a Government of India request to buy the guns and 3,500 D349 Projectile, 5”/54 MK 92 MOD 1 Ammunition.