Saturday, May 14, 2011

India fighter jet deal a missed opportunity: US

WASHINGTON: The US says India's rejection of American bids for a multibillion dollar contract to supply fighter jets was a missed opportunity to deepen defense ties and share advanced technology.

Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said Friday the US was puzzled and "deeply disappointed" by the decision announced last month.

Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin were both bidding for a slice of the $11 billion Indian deal to supply 126 jets.

German consortium Eurofighter Typhoon and the French company Dassault Aviation have been shortlisted for the contract.

Blake told a seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that the U.S. had viewed the contract as "a strategic opportunity to really take our defense partnership to the next level."

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