The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of up to 13 MK 45 MOD 4 5 inch/62 caliber naval guns and related equipment to India for an estimated cost of $1.0210 billion.
The sale will be conducted through U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Nov. 19.
The DSCA said in a statement that the Government of India has requested to buy up to 13 MK 45 MOD 4 naval guns and 3,500 D349 Projectile, 5”/54 MK 92 MOD 1 Ammunition. Also included are other ammunition, spare parts, personnel training and equipment training, publications and technical data, transportation, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support.
The proposed sale of the MK-45 Gun System is expected to improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems as it will provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare (ASuW) 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, accoring to the DSCA statement.
The statement said that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strategic regional partner adding that it will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Minneapolis, Minnesota with gun manufacturing in Louisville, Kentucky.
The MK 45 MOD 4 is a 5-inch/62 caliber U.S. naval artillery gun consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L62 Mark 36 gun fitted on a Mark 45 mount. It is the longer barrel variant of the original Mk 45 (Mod 1 and 2) gun which is equipped with a 5 in L54 Mark 19 gun on the same Mark 45 mount.
Originally designed and built by United Defense, Mk 45 guns are now manufactured by BAE Systems Land & Armaments after the former was acquired.
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.