The $4.1 billion Boeing deal to buy 10 C-17 transport aircraft is indicative of growing Indo-US defence and humanitarian ties and would give India a unique airlift capability for humanitarian operations, a State Department spokesman said on Wednesday.
"I would just say that this deal is indicative of our growing military and humanitarian ties. This kind of airlift capability, as I said, is pretty unique and it's a significant step forward for India," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.
Referring to the recent decision of the Indian Cabinet which approved the deal, Toner said the Indian government is in the final stages of the $4.1 billion sale for 10 C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transport aircraft.
"This was a deal obviously announced during President Obama's recent visit. This sale will double the value of US-Indian defence trade and provide the Indian Air Force with a strategic airlift and humanitarian response capability that, frankly, is unique in the region," he said.
He said the aircraft once inducted into the IAF will broaden India's capability to provide humanitarian assistance to people devastated by natural disasters.
"It will also allow them to deploy peacekeeping troops around the world and to evacuate its citizens from areas of civil strife anywhere in the world," he said.
"The future of India and US relations is bright," Toner said in response to a question.