NEW DELHI: Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the purchase of 24 American helicopters for the Indian Navy. The deal to procure MH-60R Seahawk helicopters is worth Rs $2.6 billion. “The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the procurement of 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters for the navy,” said a senior government official.
Last year former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had approved the proposal to procure the choppers which are manufactured by the Lockheed Martin group. The Trump administration also gave clearance after the US government rolled out a new “Buy American” plan in 2018 that had relaxed restrictions on sales, saying it would bolster the US defense industry and create jobs at home. Sources said the deal would be carried out through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route, which is the American equivalent of the government-to-government contracts India. The deal is likely to be inked during Trump’s two-day visit to India from February 24. (IANS)