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Pentagon notifies US Congress on military sales to India
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington, DC | November 15, 2005 09:54 IST
The Pentagon has notified US Congress about a possible lease to India of two P-3C aircraft along with equipment and services as part of a proposed military sale worth US$ 133 millions to strengthen the US-India strategic partnership.
"The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to improve the security of an important ally and to strengthen US-India strategic partnership that continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in South Asia," the Defence Department said on Monday.
The two leased PC-3 aircraft will replace two existing Indian Navy aircraft-- the Soviet built IL38 May-- that are fast reaching the end of their fatigue, the Pentagon told Congress, adding India has to replace these fixed wing aircrafts with an airborne operational capability.
"India is capable of absorbing and maintaining these additional aircrafts in its inventory," the Pentagon told Congress.
India had requested a possible sale of logistics support for two P-3C that would include training devices support and test equipment, engineering and technical services, spare and repair parts, personnel training and publications.
The notification by the Pentagon to Congress is required by law and does not mean that that the sale has been finalised.
Congress has been assured that this proposed sale of equipment and support 'will not affect' the basic military balance in South Asia.
The principal contractors of the proposed deal will be Lockheed Martin, the Lockheed Martin Aircraft Centre and Logistics Support International.
"Implementation of this proposed sale will require technical assistance prior to the delivery of the first aircraft and continued involvement by US and contractor representatives to India for three years," the Defence Department has told Capitol Hill.
"There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this sale," it added.