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Trump pressured to approve defense deals with India
by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Mar 28, 2017

Two U.S. Senators have penned letters to President Donald Trump encouraging him to green light two pending defense deals with the Indian government.

The letters, written by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Mark Warner, D-Va., were addressed to U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson.

The first letter calls for the approval of a plan to co-produce F-16 fighter aircraft within India's borders. The second focuses on a pending agreement to export General Atomics-made Guardian unmanned aerial vehicles to the country.

For the F-16 deal, the senators argue it is imperative U.S.-based manufacturer Lockheed Martin secures more production contracts.

"Keeping the F-16 in production will help sustain a fleet of over 1,000 aircraft currently in the Air Force and help preserve thousands of American jobs," the first letter said.

The Indian government is currently deciding between the F-16 and the Saab-made Gripen aircraft. The senators add the competition presents an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties between the countries.

For the pending Reaper export agreement, the authors cite the strategic alliance between India and the United States.

"The security and stability of the Indo-Pacific is a key national security objective of the United States and is bolstered by a strong bilateral defense relationship with India," the senators continued. "Guardian, a non-lethal, maritime surveillance platform provides critical enabling technology and will further our mutual security objectives."

Mattis presses Congress for $30B defense hike
Washington (UPI) Mar 23, 2017
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis implored lawmakers to approve the Trump Administration's proposed $30 billion defense budget boost on Wednesday. Speaking during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Mattis said the additional funds for fiscal 2017 were necessary to ensure military readiness, suggesting key assets have been underfunded. "[The spending i ... read more

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