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Indo-US military exercise to pave way for future cooperation
December 09, 2005 02:17 IST
The joint Indo-US military exercise at Kalaikunda Air Base recently was very successful and will pave the way for future partnerships between the two countries in the strategic sector, US Consul General in Kolkata Henry Victor Jardine said on Thursday.
Asked if protests from certain political parties in West Bengal worried him, Jardine told PTI, "We look at it as a very successful exercise. It was an important step in the growing cooperation between our two air forces."
The newly appointed envoy said the exercise had given US an opportunity to highlight some of the most sophisticated systems of its arsenal and was a reflection of the growing military and strategic partnership between the two countries.
On India's decision to purchase 126 fighter airplanes, he said it would have a significant economic impact for the region as a potential purchase of a US aircraft could provide over a billion dollars in contract set-asides for Indian businesses.
"America is hoping that India's wish to acquire fighter airplanes would provide us with an opportunity to partner in this sector. We are offering our expertise in this area and are hopeful that India will benefit from it," he said.
Even in the Kalaikunda exercise, Jardine said, there had been significant economic benefits as the local supplies, services and equipment were purchased to support the several hundred US servicemen and women.