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All eyes on $5.8-bn Boeing deal

india Updated: Sep 23, 2010 01:50 IST

India is aiming to finalise a $5.8 billion (R26,425 crore) defence agreement with the United States before the November visit of President Barack Obama in a deal that would mark the biggest India-US defence deal ever.

The two countries are in talks for India to acquire 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III planes, senior government officials said on Wednesday, adding the parties hope to make the announcement during Obama’s visit.

“The $5.8 billion deal along with all potential support services and spares is the biggest-ever defence deal between the two countries till now,” a senior government official said.

Another official said the actual announcement could be made during Obama’s visit.

India and the US are building a strategic alliance and security experts say New Delhi’s growing ties with Washington are seen as a counterweight against China’s growing military clout.

India and the US signed a landmark civilian nuclear deal in 2008 and another pact in July last year, facilitating the entry of US companies like Lockheed and Boeing into India’s lucrative defence market. New Delhi expressed its interest in January to buy the heavy-lift C-17 Globemaster aircraft, capable of carrying large combat equipment and troops.