Trump Visit: Modi Govt Approves USD 2.6 Billion Naval Helicopter Deal
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 20, Feb 2020, 12:25 pm IST | UPDATED: 20, Feb 2020, 12:25 pm IST
Delhi: Ahead of American President Donald Trump’s visit to India next week, Cabinet Committee on Security approved a deal procuring multi-role anti-submarine Romeo helicopters from the United States for the Indian Navy.The CCS in a meeting on Wednesday gave clearance for buying 24 multi-role helicopters (MRH), MH60 'Romeo' from US. These anti-submarine helicopters are built by Lockheed Martin.The deal with the US has been sealed for 2.6 billon dollars.The bilateral agreement to seal the deal is expected to be signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talks with US President Donald Trump on February 25. Citing sources news agency PTI reported that the CCS also deliberated on the procurement of a missile defence system from the US at a cost of USD 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 (IADWS).
Defence and security ties between India and the US have been on an upswing in the last six years. The bilateral defence trade touched USD 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.