New Delhi (Sputnik): Ahead of his India visit, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin's F-21s and Boeing's F/A-18s could give India the capabilities to become a fully fledged security provider throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Speaking at the India Ideas Summit and the 44th Annual Meeting of the US-India Business Council in the US Chamber of Commerce, in Washington on Wednesday, the US secretary of state said: "On defence, the first batch of Apache helicopters are coming off Boeing's production line in Arizona even as we speak. Lockheed Martin's F-21 and Boeing's F/A-18 are state-of-the-art fighters that could give India the capabilities it needs to become a full-fledged security provider throughout the Indo-Pacific."
Commenting on relations between India and the US, Pompeo opined that while there have been solid achievements, there is always scope for more.
"The Trump administration has already enabled American companies to export more high-tech items to India. This includes cutting-edge defence platforms like armed UAVs and ballistic missile defense systems," Pompeo said. "We've already launched the Asia-EDGE programme to help India raise private capital to meet its energy and security needs for years to come."
Pompeo is due to visit New Delhi from 25-26 June as part of his Asia tour ahead of the G-20 Summit in Osaka city, Japan.
Lockheed Martin, which produces an array of advanced arms, including F-21 jets, earlier proposed setting up a manufacturing facility in India, adding that if New Delhi decides to go ahead with the purchase, it will not sell the new F-21 jets to any other country.