With an aim to enhance India’s defence capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region, Donald Trump-led US administration on Friday approved foreign military sales worth USD 670 million to support India’s C-17 military transport aircraft.
The decision comes a day after India requested the US to buy equipment for C-17 follow-on support to include spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and other defence equipment.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said India needed to follow-on support to maintain its operational readiness and ability to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) assistance in the region.
The official notification also stated that the proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the US bu helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the mobility capabilities of a major defensive partner. The partnership continues to be an important force for political stability, peace and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia regions.
Asserting that the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the Pentagon agency said the implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of one US government representative and 23 contractor representatives to India.
Meanwhile, the US government on Friday also approved technical and logistics support worth 125 million dollars to Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jets under Peace Drive program despite the freeze in security assistance to the country since January 2018. A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Donald Trump held talks in Washington, the Pentagon notified the US Congress of its decision to approve military sales that would result in 24×7 end-use monitoring of the F-16 fighter jets of Pakistan. Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 60 contractor representatives to Pakistan to assist in the oversight of operations, a statement said.