Defence deals worth over Rs 20,000 crore, intelligence sharing on counter-terrorist activities and steps to strengthen military ties are expected to be discussed during US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel's three-day visit starting Thursday. During the visit, Hagel is scheduled to hold meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Defence Ministry officials said.
The American Defence Secretary is expected to hold discussions with the top Indian political and military leadership on the military ties between the two countries including the defence hardware partnership, they said. The issue of intelligence sharing and discussions on deals for procuring 22 Apache attack helicopters, 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers along with four P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft is expected to come up for discussion in the meetings.
The deals are in the final stages and India is in final stages of procuring these equipment, which is expected to be worth around Rs 20,000 crore. Talks will be held between DRDO chief Avinash Chander and Amerian Under Secretary for Defence Acquisition Frank Kendall on jointly developing defence hardware such as missiles. The issue of under-negotiation Ultra Light Howitzer and Javelin anti-tank guided missile is also expected to figure in the discussions between the two countries.