AGENCIES, Ahmedabad: India and the US will sign a defence deal on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced during the ‘Namaste Trump’ event in Ahmedabad.
“I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow (Tuesday) our representatives will sign defence deals worth over $3 billion, to sell absolute finest state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” Trump said.
“As we continue to build our defence cooperation, the US looks forward to providing India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made. We make the best and we are dealing now with India,” the US President added.
With a trade deal off the table, India and the US are looking to focus sharply on defence cooperation during Trump’s two-day official visit.
Talks on the finalisation of the Basic Exchange and Co-operation Agreement (BECA) are scheduled to begin as early as March, one of the officials familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. BECA will allow India and the US to exchange geo-spatial maps to get pinpoint military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons such as cruise and ballistic missiles, apart from its civilian use.
In addition, the two countries are likely to sign multiple deals for defence purchases, added this person. This includes a $2.4 billion deal for 24 MH-60R Sikorsky helicopters, and a $930 million deal for six Apache AH-64E attack helicopters for the army from Boeing, both of which were approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security last week. There could also be a further order of eight Poseidon P8I multi-mission aircraft for the Indian Navy and a full spectrum missile shield for New Delhi.