The defence ministry is set to procure 21 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles and its five training varieties of ATM 84L Harpoon Block II from the US government for a total of $ 200 million (approximately Rs 909 crore).
But this price is about 200 per cent more than what Pakistan paid four years ago for the same missiles, the Harpoon Block II. While the average unit cost of the missiles for India is a little less than $ 8 million (approximately Rs 36 crore), Islamabad paid only about $ 3 million (approximately Rs 13 crore) per unit. Pakistan's consignment of 130 units had cost $ 370 million (approximately Rs 1,682 crore).
While the defence ministry refused to comment on the deal in response to a written questionnaire, the US government's Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified the US Congress about the impending deal under the foreign military sales (FMS) programme.
The corporate beneficiary of the contract will be Boeing Inc, which was the original manufacturers of the missile.
The quoted price of $ 200 million for the missiles is not negotiable as, under the FMS, after notification and a clearance from the US Congress, Washington will be sending a ' letter of offer and agreement', which can only be accepted.
The navy spokesperson, Commander PVS Satish, who confirmed the details of the deal said: " I had handled a similar FMS contract some time ago. As far as I know, the offer price is the final price." The defence ministry can argue that the Indian contract has associated equipment, parts and logistical support. But the deal with Pakistan also had similar components.
The Indian price covers containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, the US government and contractor's technical assistance and other related elements of logistics support.
Pakistan's sale also included five encapsulated Harpoon command launch systems, 115 containers, missile modifications, training devices, spare and repair parts, US government and contractor engineering and logistics support services. The defence ministry refused to give a response when questioned on the rationale behind the 200 per cent hike.