India, US expanded defence cooperation with USD 3 billion military equipment deals, says Donald Trump
The Lockheed Martin-built helicopters would replace India's ageing fleet of British-made Sea King choppers
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that India and US expanded their defence cooperation as New Delhi agreed to purchase more than USD 3 billion of advanced American military equipment including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters.
He also said that the deals will "enhance" joint defence capabilities between the two countries.
"Earlier today, we expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than USD 3 billion of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters -- finest in the world. These will enhance our joint defence capabilities," said Trump, during a joint conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi following US-India delegation-level talks.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) had given its nod to the acquisition of the choppers, designed for hunting submarines and conducting search and rescue operations at sea, just days ahead of Trump's visit. The US had in April last year approved the sale of these choppers under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.
The Lockheed Martin-built helicopters would replace India's ageing fleet of British-made Sea King choppers. The MH-60 Romeo choppers are being acquired by the Navy after several failed attempts to replace their Sea King fleet.
The last deal was scrapped after the Defence Ministry and America's Sikorsky Aircraft failed to agree on the price of the choppers. Due to the long delays in the acquisition of multi-role helicopters, Indian Navy adopted the government-to-government route for acquiring these choppers to save time instead of going in for the multi-vendor tender route.
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