New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) In its largest arms deal struck so far, India will purchase six large transport planes at an estimated cost of one billion dollars (about Rs 4,000 crore) from the United States.
The Hercules C-130 J aircraft, which has all-weather and night flying capabilities, will improve the Indian armed forces' capability to quickly transport troops to areas of conflict.
The deal was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security last week -- barely a month before US Defence Secretary Robert Gates visits India on his maiden visit.
The sale, officials here confirmed, would be under government- to-government foreign military sales (FMS) scheme. The C-130J manufactured by US aviation giant Lockheed Martin is being bought in Special Forces configuration and would come with equipment like missile warning system, radar warning receiver and counter- measure dispensation.
The US, whose armed forces specialise in quickly moving troops to different parts of the world, has been actively assisting India in improving its troop lift capabilities, an area where the Indian armed forces are not very capable.
It recently refurbished and sold USS Trenton (now INS Jalashva) for about 500 million dollars. The ship can accommodate several tanks and helicopters besides several hundred troops.
Before this, the US had sold seven weapon locating ANTPQ-37 radars in a deal estimated at about 200 million dollars.
With US arms exports to India accelerating, two US companies were now actively participating in a tender for 126 multi-role aircraft for the Indian Air Force in a deal estimated at 10.2 billion dollars (about Rs 42,000 crore).
UNI DG SV AS1505