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US offers to sell India 6 C-130 transport aircraft

May 30, 2007 17:13 IST

The United States has offered to sell to India six C-130 J Hercules transport aircraft and related equipment worth $1.1 billion, which it said would help improve the security of an important partner and strengthen the India-US strategic relationship.

The US defence department has notified Congress of the possible deal.

'This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of an important partner and to strengthen the India-US strategic relationship, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia,' the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said.

The equipment sought by India includes four Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 spare engines and eight AAR-47 Missle Warning Systems.

The Agency has notified Congress that in the possible sale are included spare and repair parts, configuration updates, communications security equipment and radios, integration studies, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, technical services, personnel training and training equipment.

The estimated cost is put at $1,059 million.

Noting that India and the US are forging an important strategic partnership, the agency said the proposed sale will enhance the national security objectives of the US by providing India with a credible special operations airlift capability that will deter aggression in the region, provide humanitarian airlift capability and ensure interoperability with US forces in coalition operations.

The agency stressed that the proposed sale 'will not affect' the military balance in the region.

The DSCA has further told Congress that the principal contractors will be the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas and the Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana.

'Offset agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected, but at this time the specific offset agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractors,' it said.

Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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