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Ahead of Trump's visit, govt approves $2.6bn helicopter deal with US

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
February 19, 2020 23:48 IST
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Ahead of United States President Donald Trump's India visit next week, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Wednesday approved a government-to-government deal to procure a batch of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from the US at a cost of $2.6 billion.

The bilateral agreement to seal the deal is expected to be signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talks with Trump on February 25, top sources said.

India is procuring the helicopters for the Indian Navy.

The sources said the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also deliberated on the procurement of a missile defence system from the US at a cost of $1.86 billion.

However, final approval to the deal has not been given yet, the sources said.

 

The US approved the sale of the helicopters to India in April last year.

The helicopters are expected to boost the Indian Navy's anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations.

The chopper is designed to hunt down submarines. The fleet would replace aging British-made Sea King helicopters.

Ahead of Trump's visit, the US approved the sale of an Integrated Air Defence Weapon System to India.

Defence and security ties between India and the US have been on an upswing in the last six years.

The bilateral defence trade touched $18 billion mark in 2019, reflecting growing defence cooperation between the two sides.

There has been indication that two sides may announce further deepening of defence ties during Trump's visit on February 24 and 25.

Both sides have also been pushing for joint venture and collaboration between private sectors of the two countries in defence manufacturing.

In June 2016, the US had designated India a "Major Defence Partner", intending to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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