New Delhi: India has signed a $2.1 billion (Rs10,164 crore) deal with US aerospace giant Boeing Co. to buy maritime surveillance aircraft for the Indian Navy, officials said on Monday.
The agreement to buy eight P-81 long-range reconnaissance aircraft marks India’s biggest military aircraft deal with the US, defence ministry officials said. The contract was signed on 1 January in New Delhi.
“The deal is finally through and we will receive the first P-81 in 2013 while the remaining seven will be procured in a phased manner over the next three or four years,” said a senior official who did not wanted to be named.
Bulk order: A file photo of Boeing’s assembly line / Bloomberg
The signing of the deal was first reported in ‘The Times of India‘. The contract includes lifetime maintenance support and an option for the acquisition of up to eight additional P-81 aircraft, the official said.
The deal comes less than a year after India and US-based Lockheed Martin Corp. signed an agreement worth $962 million for the purchase of six C-130 Hercules transport planes for the Indian Army.
Both Lockheed and Boeing are in the race for a $12 billion contract to sell 126 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force along with companies from France, Russia, and the European Union.
India last year also signed a $2.2 billion deal with France’s Dassault to upgrade 51 Mirage 2000 fighter jets, which the air force had bought in 1985.
The largest buyer of armaments among emerging nations, India plans to spend $30 billion until 2012 to modernize its 1.23-million-strong military, the world’s fourth largest.