SP's Aviation - - NEWS DIGEST -

A num­ber of US Se­na­tors have come to­gether in a bi­par­ti­san ef­fort to pres­sure the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion into ap­prov­ing two key de­fence deals with In­dia. Se­na­tors John Cornyn, R-Texas and Mark Warner, D-Vir­ginia urged De­fense Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis and Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son in joint letters to ap­prove co-pro­duc­tion of Lock­heed Martin’s F-16 in In­dia and to ap­prove the ex­port of Gen­eral Atomics’ Guardian, a

non-lethal mar­itime ver­sion of the MQ-9 Reaper. Speak­ing on the F-16 ne­go­ti­a­tions, the letters stated that a suc­cess­ful deal “will in­crease in­ter­op­er­abil­ity with a key part­ner and a dom­i­nant power in South Asia, build In­dia’s ca­pac­ity to counter threats from the North, and bal­ance China’s grow­ing mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­ity in the Pa­cific,” while on the Guardian UAV deal, the Se­na­tors warned that a fail­ure to go through with the sale “will not only have im­pli­ca­tions for re­gional se­cu­rity in the Asia-Pa­cific, but could also sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact MQ-9 pro­duc­tion and put thou­sands of US man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs at risk.”

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