Eyes Deal with U.S. to Replace
Aging Russian Warplanes
(RIA Novosti) — India has begun talks with the United States
on the purchase of P-8i long-range maritime reconnaissance
patrol aircraft to replace Russian-made Tu-142M bombers, the
Times of India said on Tuesday.
said that the P-8i jet with antisubmarine warfare capabilities,
based on the Boeing-737 commercial aircraft, had been deemed
the best choice to meet the Indian Navy’s requirements, ahead
of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company’s A-319
maritime patrol aircraft and other contenders.
contract will be signed soon. The first P-8i will be delivered
within 48 months, i.e. in mid-2012, and all eight by mid-2015.
They will replace the Navy’s eight aging Tupolev-142Ms," the
newspaper said, citing a source in the country’s Defense Ministry.
India’s largest military partner, concluding contracts worth
some $1.5 billion annually. Israel signs military contracts
with New Delhi totaling $1 billion each year.
signs the deal with Washington on the purchase of P-8i aircraft,
estimated at about $2 billion, it will be the biggest-ever
defense contract between the countries. The highest in recent
years was a 2002 deal worth $190 million to supply 12 AN/TPQ-37
firefinder weapon-locating radars.
ago an Indian defense industry source speculated that U.S.
defense industry giant Lockheed Martin could be pushing for
closer ties with India’s military to increase its chances in
winning a $10-billion tender on the delivery of 126 fighters
for the Indian Air Force.
bidders include Lockheed Martin’s F-16, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super
Hornet, the Russian Mig-35, the French Dassault Rafale, the
Swedish Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon.