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'US offering top of the line defence systems to India'

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The C-130J Hercules Transport aircraft (top) and C-17 Globemaster on offer to India.

WASHINGTON (PTI): The US on Friday offered India top of the shelf and top of the line defence weapon systems and said three agreements were being negotiated which would allow the country to share key American technologies.

“Pentagon is working with India to put three foundational agreements in place with New Delhi that would allow American frontline technologies to be shared with the country,” a top Pentagon official Michele Flournoy said.

“The cooperation with India is most developed in the maritime domain. But we are interested in talking about other areas as well. When you look at space, India has a lot to bring to the table, in terms of its own space technology and industry,” she said.

Flournoy said the US is committed to providing India with top of the shelf or top of the line technology.

The Pentagon official said Defence Secretary Robert Gates had made export control reforms a key priority. “We see streamlining and modernising of export control system as a national security priority and one that directly affects our ability to build and sustain these key partnerships.”

Flournoy, under secretary of defence for policy said US would continue to work with India on countering the spread of WMD, maritime cooperation and identifying new technologies to combat the threat.

She strongly made a pitch that India should opt for American fighter aircraft as it would pave the way for “more effective protection of mutual security interest in the future.”

Advocating “US solutions for India's defence needs,” the top Pentagon official said an overwhelming majority of arms licenses requested last year had been approved.

The American pitch for India opting for US system comes as New Delhi is in final stages of deciding on the mega $10 billion deal to purchase 126 fighter aircraft.

American aviation majors Boeing with its F-18 super hornet and Lockheed Martin with its F-16 fighting Falcons are among the major bidders.

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Pentagon  MMRCA  
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