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India, US plan biggest-ever war games in Jan
December 09, 2005 19:34 IST
In a step up of service-to-service engagement, India and the United States will conduct the biggest-ever army level exercises near Ranikhet in Uttaranchal in January, as American officials on Friday indicated that Washington was working to open doors to high-technology transfers.
A company force of the US army will conduct joint exercises with a thrust towards anti-insurgency operations in the mountainous terrain near Choubhatia, US officials said adding that, in the coming year, armed forces of the two countries would participate in 'more complex, patterned war games'.
"The US Pacific Command wants to expand its military-level innteraction with India over a broad front to enable the two armed forces to share experience in doctrines and higher formation-level exercises," officials said.
Officials said though Indo-US defence trade stood at $ 287 million, they expected a big jump in arms sales through major deals with the Navy, special forces and Air Force in the offing.
They said American armament giants like Boeing and Lockheed Martin were in the reckoning for India's plan to acquire 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft, spy planes and mine-hunter ships and Sea Hawk Helicopters for the Navy.
India will also buy specialised armaments worth $ 29 million for special forces to enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities.