so they will be getting the lawndart and the plane that thinks it can do it all for the navy.
U.S. to boost arms sales to India
Pact sends inspectors, U.S. expertise to India's nuclear programs
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- India will be able to buy more sophisticated fighter aircraft and other high-tech arms from the United States as part of a closer defense relationship between the two nations, the United States Department of Defense has said.
This would include state-of-the-art combat aircraft including the F-16 and F-18, the department said in a statement released Thursday.
"It is our goal to help meet India's needs in the defense realm, and to provide important capabilities and technologies that India seeks. We are on a path to accomplish this," the statement said.
The defense decision comes as the U.S. and India signed a groundbreaking nuclear pact during a visit to New Delhi by U.S. President George W. Bush.
Under that deal, the U.S. agrees to send nuclear fuel and expertise to India in exchange for New Delhi opening up its civilian nuclear reactors to international inspectors.
The arms decision will be viewed with interest by India's regional rival Pakistan, which President Bush will visit briefly on Saturday.
India was disappointed by a U.S. decision nearly 12 months ago to sell F-16s to Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in its war on terror.
"Where only a few years ago, no one would have talked about the prospects for a major U.S.-India defense deal, today the prospects are promising, whether in the realm of combat aircraft, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft or naval vessels," the department statement said.
"We have indicated our intention to offer both the F-16 and the F-18, both combat proven aircraft. As additional capabilities enter our force, we will work with the government of India to make them available," it said.
"Our proposal will also address India's interest in technology transfer and indigenous co-production."