Delhi readying $2.6bn naval copter deal ahead of Trump’s visit
NEW DELHI: India is set to give final approval to a $2.6 billion deal for military helicopters from the US defence firm Lockheed Martin ahead of a proposed visit by President Donald Trump this month, defence and industry sources said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s go nment is trying to pull out all the stops for Trump’s visit in a bid to reaffirm strategic ties between the two countries, which have been buffeted by sharp differences over trade, to counter China.
India’s defence purchases from the United States have reached $17 billion since 2007 as it has pivoted away from traditional supplier Russia, looking to modernise its military and narrow the gap with China.
Modi’s cabinet committee on security is expected to clear the purchase of 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Indian navy in the next two weeks, a defence official and an industry source briefed on the matter separately told Reuters.
“It’s a go nment-to-go nment deal, it is close,” said the industry source.
To cut short lengthy negotiations between Lockheed and the Indian go nment, the helicopters that will be deployed on India’s warships will be bought through the US foreign military sales route, under which the two go nments will agree details of the deal.
Trump is expected in India around Feb 24 on his first official visit to the country, although no formal announcement has yet been made.
Both countries are separately working on a limited trade agreement ahead of the trip, after earlier imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s imports.
Trump has called India the “tariff king of the world” but the Modi go nment has been trying to address some of his concerns.
Trade officials have pointed to large-scale US arms purchases, from surveillance planes to Apache and Chinook helicopters, as proof of India’s willingness to tighten strategic ties.
Many of India’s warships are without any helicopters because of years of underfunding, and the navy had sought their acquisition as a top priority.
The go nment outlined only a modest rise in its 2020/21 defence spending to $73.65 billion in the budget on Feb 1, of which a part will go towards making a down payment on the helicopter purchase, a defence official said.
“We expect a positive announcement soon on the helicopters,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of service rules.
“There are limited resources, but there is an allocation.” The US State Department approved the sale of the choppers to India last year along with radars, torpedoes and 10 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
The clearance came after the Trump administration rolled out a new “Buy American” plan in 2018 that had relaxed restrictions on sales, saying it would bolster the American defence industry and create jobs at home.
The United States has also offered India the armed version of Guardian drones that were originally authorised for sale as unarmed for surveillance purposes, the first such approval for a country outside the Nato alliance.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/49342.html 译者：Joyceliu
Trump has Any plan to visit Pakistan??
Impressive. India and US are indeed working hard to strengthen the relationship.
Kudos. Way to go Modi and Trump
Is Trump visiting his new found friend IK in Pakistan?
We have 471 billion dollars so we can buy anything.
Two great world leaders
Good for India, we wish them the best from Pakistan.
But The tea was fantastic.
Pak should know how to handle foreign affairs. Whether its commercial or defence, there should be balancing act in relation with all the countries. India doing balancing act with USA, Russia, Europe, Arab world, china etc. where as Pak only with china that too it is one way trade from china to Pak.
Modi is very good at Diplomacy ...
Incredible India can send rockets to the moon but can't make helicopters!
its peanuts for modi
There is likely to be some progress on defence purchases as well and talks are underway between the two sides on the next order for fighter jets. Lockheed Martin has proposed to move its entire F-16 manufacturing base to India if it gets a critical mass order for the fighter jets India is planning to acquire for its defence forces.
Its India's requirement. USA fulfilling it by taking money. Its a trade.
New Delhi: Seeking to cut down the import bill, the army has kicked started a process to order new anti-tank guided missiles (AM) from the Indian industry, preferring the domestic route for over 2,000 missiles, a number that could grow exponentially given its requirements.
India got money.
where is your FO who announced Trump will visit Pakistan also
Let’s See how two “Great” deal makers in the world deal with each other .
Go India Go
And the choppers will be manufactured in India
Modi is a good role model for the leaders of many countries in the region and elsewhere.
You know how this works!? The US Ex-Im Bank lends India money at about 7-10% in USD base. So no money comes out of India reserve.
@SayNoToPlastics, India already makes 100% indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters used by both civilian and defence.Sea Hawk helicopters are the most advanced in the world and all countries inclg. Europe, Japan buy from the US.
Bikram Singh Thappa
What a treat to read ! Thanks dawn.
Indian economy is collapsing and Modi spending money on war machines. Impressive.
If you give someone the best football boots he doesn't become the best player.
@Justice, well said bro.
@SayNoToPlastics, hmm nice one.
but something we called give and take ..
India is giving money and taking some polotical favour .. got ya
Pak PM IK should learn from Indian PM Modi how to build bridges and relationships in the global arena.
Two of the greatest leaders of the world's oldest and largest democracies are meeting. The whole world will remain glued to their TV screen.
Trump visit is already confirmed by white house!
It is the man behind the machine.
@SayNoToPlastics, India send satellites for USA and buy weapons from them. Think this way makes more sense
India trying to buy trump love for its Kashmir and CAA atrocities.
India is wasting money again on a white elephant , which it will never got used
Modi is acting like a sales Manager, who try to book more deals for the company just before visit of CEO.