U.S. aircraft maker Boeing said it has begun preliminary talks with India on selling and co-producing F-18 Super Hornet fighter planes, just weeks after Washington and New Delhi signed a strategic defense pact.
The Indian Air Force has plans to buy 126 multi-role fighters for an estimated $9 billion, as it replaces its aging fleet of Russian-built MiG 21s.
Boeing Vice President Chris Chadwick told reporters in New Delhi that his company is willing to transfer technology and co-produce the planes in India.
Mr. Chadwick said this week's Washington visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made the environment more favorable for U.S. defense contractors wanting to do business with India.
Washington is also resuming sales of F-16s to India's rival Pakistan after a nearly 16-year break.