Big US deals to be cleared

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

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.

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