Big US deals to be cleared
The final days of the fiscal could have a marked American flavour, with a few of the US deals in the pipeline for conclusion. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is understood to be in the final stage of negotiations for the heavy-lift helicopter and attack helicopter contracts, both to Boeing Defense, for the CH-47F Chinook and AH-64D Apache Block III respectively. The MoD is also in the process of finalising an order for six follow-on C-130J Super Hercules medium transports from Lockheed Martin, to the first six already in service.
The Indian Army will be breaking the Bofors jinx with an order for 145 M777 howitzers from BAE Systems, guns built in the United States, while the IAF will also begin the process to decide on a followon deal for 10 more C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transports from Boeing Defense. As the country gets closer to election season, signing of deals gets invariably passed over as a result of political sensitivities. However, this time around, things could be speeded up given the national security atmosphere.