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Advanced weapons for India: US Embassy sources
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April 08, 2005 21:04 IST

United States has offered India advanced weapons like Patriot PaC II anti-missile systems and network-centric early warning and battlefield control and command systems.

The offer follows US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's [Images] announcement of plans to engage New Delhi in closer strategic partnership.

"We intend to re-draw the strategic map of Indo-US relations," a senior US Embassy official said.

In the coming days, External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh will be going to Washington and Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command Admiral William J Fallone will make his maiden trip to India.

Embassy sources said US aviation majors Lockheed Martin and Boeing would aggressively bid for India's plan to buy 126 multi-role combat aircraft.

Officials also said US was committed to a "serious energy dialogue" with India, including civilian use of nuclear energy. They said this issue would receive a boost with the upcoming visit Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer to Washington.

"India and US are both energy deficit countries and a close co-operation in this field is viewed by us as mutually advantageous," they said.

Officials said US viewed its strategic engagement with India in a global context rather than regional.

They said an indication of this was that from nothing in 2000, defence sales between the two countries had shot up to $ 200 million in 2002.


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