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India 'urgently' seeks 24 Romeo anti-sub copters from US for $2 bn

Washington DC: India has sought from the USA 24 multi-role MH-60 'Romeo' anti-submarine helicopters for its Navy at an estimated cost of $2 billion, defence industry sources here said. India has been in need of these formidable anti-submarine hunter helicopters for more than a decade now.

The deal is expected to be finalised in a few months, informed sources said, days after US Vice-President Mike Pence held a successful meeting with PM Narendra Modi in Singapore on the sidelines of a regional summit. India has sent a letter of request to the US for an "urgent requirement" of 24 multi-role MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters, sources said.

In recent months, there has been acceleration in defence ties between the two countries, with the Trump administration opening up America's high-tech military hardware for India's defence needs. Bilateral defence relationship was on top of the agenda of the Modi-Pence meeting in Singapore on Wednesday.

A summit-level bilateral between Modi and Trump is expected at Argentina on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting on November 30 and December 1. Neither side has confirmed the meeting yet.

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