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One deal will not impact US-India relations: Ambassador

US's F-16 fighter.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Days after two American companies lost out in a multi-billion dollar combat fighter deal, US Ambassador to India Timothy J Roemer Wednesday said it will not impact the Indo-US strategic relations, which is "bigger" than any deal.

"We are disappointed. But this relationship between US and India is bigger than any one deal," he told reporters when asked whether American firms’ losing out would have any impact on US-India relations.

Roemer described the US-India relations as a "global partnership" on security, environment, green technology and fighting poverty.

"We are two partners working together for global peace, global partnership. One deal does not impact that strategic relationship," he said.

The Ambassador said America was "deeply disappointed" that two of its companies – Boeing and Lockheed Martin – did not make up to be final round for the bid under which India will procure 126 Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

"We believe that cost of F-18 and F-16 is about 70 to 80 million (dollars) a piece and the Typhoon and Rafale is around 130 million (dollars) a piece. We provided great value particularly to the tax payers of India.

"We provided great technology. We have rather proven, mature and working (technology). I think the competitors have a radar system that they are trying to incorporate," he said.

Boeing's F-18 and Lockheed Martin's F-16 were in contention for the deal.

However, after intense trials, both these fighters were not considered by the Defence Ministry which shortlisted European Eurofighter and French Dassault Rafale. Also not considered by the Ministry were MiG-35 of Russia and Saab Gripen of Sweden.



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