NATIONAL

‘Most feared military equipment’ on offer

A deal in the making:An agreement for six more P-8Ilong-range maritime patrol aircraft is in the pipeline.

A deal in the making:An agreement for six more P-8Ilong-range maritime patrol aircraft is in the pipeline.  

Defence deals worth around$3 billion to be signed today

Defence sales and cooperation featured prominently in the speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump at the “Namaste Trump” event in Ahmedabad on Monday. While announcing that defence deals worth around $3 billion would be signed during his visit, Mr. Trump offered a range of high-tech defence equipment to India.

“As we continue to build our defence cooperation, the U.S. looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made. Airplanes, missiles, rockets, ships.... we make the best and we’re dealing now with India. But this includes advanced air-defence systems and armed and unarmed aerial vehicles,” Mr. Trump said as Mr. Modi looked on.

“Tomorrow our representatives will sign deals to sell over $3 billion in the absolute finest state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” he said.

The deals are for 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters for the Navy worth $2.2 billion and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army worth $800 million. The other big ticket deals in the pipeline are for armed drones, an air defence system, MK-45 127mm naval guns and six more P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft among others. While these are at various stages of procurement, the U.S. State Department has recently notified the sale of an air defence system to Delhi in a deal worth $1.8 billion.

As reported by The Hindu , the long pending proposal to procure armed Predator drones from the U.S. for the three Services is back on the table and the Qualitative Requirements (QR) are currently being finalised.

Expressing his belief that the U.S. should be India’s “premier defence partner,” Mr. Trump said, “Together, we will defend our sovereignty, security and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region for our children and for the generations to come.”

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