The US has reportedly proposed to provide its F/A-18 fighter jets to the Indian Navy to address the service’s requirement for combat jets.
Earlier this week, defence ministers from India and the US signed a Basic Exchange and Agreement (BECA) for geo-spatial cooperation.
The agreement was signed during the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi, India to discuss bilateral defence issues.
ANI stated that the Indian Navy planned previously to induct 57 fighter aircraft that would operate from its aircraft carriers.
A government source was quoted by ANI as saying: “The American Government has offered to provide their naval fighter aircraft F-18 for the Indian Navy under a government proposal at the meeting between defence delegations of both countries during the 2+2 meetings.”
The US has also planned to sell Sea Guardian unmanned aircraft to the Indian Navy.
Currently, the Indian Navy is evaluating if F/A-18 and the Rafale naval fighters meet its current and future needs.
The service is planning to phase out the existing fighters by the end of the decade.
In November last year, the Indian Navy purchased naval guns and ammunition worth $1.02bn under a potential deal approved by the Trump administration.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the US Congress of a possible sale of up to 13 5in 62-calibre MK 45 (MOD 4) naval guns to India.