The huge crowd at the large cricket stadium in Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, India came to see President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and they weren’t disappointed. An estimated 110,000 people filled the stadium to hear the President and Prime Minister give a message of hope, solidarity, and military partnership.
President Trump signed a $3 billion trade deal with India as the two countries reached an agreement whereby the United States will send state-of-the-art helicopters to the Indian military.
“The first lady and I have just traveled 8,000 miles around the globe to deliver a message to every citizen across this nation: America loves India, America respects India, and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people,” he the President said.
He spoke about the fight that both countries are waging against radical Islamic terrorism. “Both of our countries have been hurt by the pain and turmoil of terrorism,” he said speaking about the defeat of ISIS.
When telling the large crowd about the upcoming military deal between the two countries, he said: “I believe that the United States should be India’s premier defense partner and that’s the way it’s working out.” The administration wants to steer India away from purchasing Russian military hardware and become a major trading partner of the United States’ military-industrial complex.
Representatives of both governments had earlier worked out the details for India to purchase 24 MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters. Earlier this month, the two countries agreed to a $1.8 billion sale of air defense missiles, radars, rifles and related equipment.
The MH-60R is designed to hunt submarines and will add to the strategic depth and combat capability of the Indian Navy, replacing the aging U.K.-constructed Sea King helicopters. The first batch of MH-60Rs is scheduled to be delivered in 2022.
The MH-6OR is based on the proven U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk platform, its most significant differences being the folding main rotor and a hinged tail, which were designed to reduce its footprint aboard Navy ships.
The fleet will boost the Indian Navy’s anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. These helicopters, considered by many to be the best maritime rotary-wing aircraft in the world, will be deployed to the Indian Ocean and used to protect India’s interests from potential adversaries in China and Pakistan.
The MH-60R helicopters will be used in Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Command and Control, ESM roles besides Search and Rescue (SAR) roles. They are also highly capable of conducting reconnaissance missions.
“The United States looks forward to providing India with the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. We make the greatest weapons ever made… airplanes, missiles, rockets, ships. We make the best, and we are dealing now with India,” the president said. “I am pleased to announce that tomorrow our representatives will sign deals to sell over $3 billion in the absolute finest, state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” he added.
Later in the day the President and First Lady took a tour of the Taj Mahal in Agra, a place that President Trump copied the name from in building one of his former casinos.