Washington: The deal between India and the United States for the purchase of six Lockheed Super Hercules military transport planes has breached an important “psychological barrier” that will set the stage for American companies to bid for the contract for multi-role combat aircraft, a top US defence official has said.
“It is a very good plane and is very widely used. It is a workhorse and it has been used for 40 years but the ‘J´ type (C-130J) is amazing...it can really take off on a much shorter runway and India basically lacks this kind of an airplane,” James Clad, deputy assistant secretary, Defence, said.
India and the US will soon sign a major arms deal, with the government late last month giving the nod for the purchase of the six C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at an estimated cost of Rs4,000 crore.
Talking to PTI, Clad, the senior Pentagon official whose portfolio is South and South East Asia, said the deal has helped breach a “psychological barrier” in Indo-US defence cooperation.
“What it does it is that it squarely puts Lockheed Martin on the ground with Boeing which is already there in India in civilian aircraft.
“It is one of those things where the psychology of which is very significant. There have been other things like Raytheon radars but this is the kind of thing that has an effect on the defence corporate community...diligence, good work and products make the difference,” he said.
“It puts us on the scoreboard,” Clad added.