India,US to ink huge military deal: report

Feb 16, 2009
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India,US to ink huge military deal: report

US President Barack Obama's visit to New Delhi in November may secure $5 billion worth of arms sales to India, Russia's Vzglyad newspaper reported Monday.

The deal, if signed during Obama's visit, would make the US replace Russia as India's biggest arms supplier, the paper said, adding that the deal would also help India curb China's rise.

India's shortlist includes Patriot defense systems, Boeing mid-air refueling tankers and certain types of howitzers, and the total cost of the deal may exceed $10 billion, the paper added.

The report came a day after The Economic Times in New Delhi reported that talks are underway between Indian and US officials over a deal to sell 10 Boeing C-17 military transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The talks focus on the price and onboard equipment of the T-tailed C-17 Globemaster-III, which has passed validation trials and meets the requirements of the IAF, the newspaper said.

According to an official Boeing statement, the C-17 can carry a maximum payload of 74,797 kilo-grams for 2,400 nautical miles (4,444.8 kilometers) without refueling, and 45,495 kilograms for 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) without refueling, the paper added.

Wang Mingzhi, a military strategist at the PLA Air Force Command College, told the Global Times that those reported military deals reflect Washington and New Delhi's needs in the region.

"To assist the Afghan war and the fight against the Pakistani Taliban, the US has been trying to improve its presence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean," Wang said. "Those arms sales will improve ties between Washington and New Delhi, and, intentionally or not, will have the effect of containing China's influence in the region."

"For example, once India gets the C-17 transport aircraft, the mobility of its forces stationed along the border with China will be improved. Mobility includes transportation, lifting, landing and deployment," he added.

Global Times

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