India has signed a $2.1 billion deal with Boeing to buy maritime surveillance aircraft for the Indian navy, officials said on Jan. 5.
The agreement to buy eight P-81 long-range reconnaissance aircraft marks India's biggest military aircraft deal with the U.S. The contract includes lifetime maintenance support and an option for the acquisition of up to eight additional P-81 aircraft.
The deal comes less than a year after India and Lockheed Martin 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 also in the race for a $12 billion contract to sell 126 fighter jets to the Indian air force. Four other global companies from France, Russia, and the EU are in the race for the world's richest fighter jet deal in 16 years.
India last year also signed a 1.5 billion euro (US$2.2 billion) deal with France's Dassault to upgrade 51 Mirage 2000 fighter jets, which the Indian air force bought in 1985.
India, the largest buyer of armaments among emerging nations, plans to spend $30 billion until 2012 to modernize its 1.23-million-strong military, the world's fourth largest.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009