Home World Trump visit to India: Modi looking at $2.6bn naval copter deal

Trump visit to India: Modi looking at $2.6bn naval copter deal

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NEW DELHI: India is set to give final approval to a $2.6 billion deal for military helicopters from the US defence firm Lockheed Martin ahead of a proposed visit by President Donald Trump this month, defence and industry sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is trying to pull out all the stops for Trump’s visit in a bid to reaffirm strategic ties between the two countries, which have been buffeted by sharp differences over trade, to counter China.

India’s defence purchases from the United States have reached $17 billion since 2007 as it has pivoted away from traditional supplier Russia, looking to modernise its military and narrow the gap with China.

Modi’s cabinet committee on security is expected to clear the purchase of 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Indian navy in the next two weeks, a defence official and an industry source briefed on the matter separately told Reuters.