Wednesday, October 6, 2010

C-17 deal with India could create 30,000 jobs in US: Blake

USD 4.4 billion deal of C-17 Globemaster aircraft with India has the potential to create as many as 30,000 jobs in America, a top US official has said.

"India and the US are working toward finalising an agreement for Indian Air Force to acquire ten C-17 Globemaster aircraft. This USD 4.4 billion deal could potentially create up to 30,000 jobs in the US," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said at the 27th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture at San Diego State University in California.

Often referred to as the 'workhorse of US military', these transport aircraft will boost India's strategic airlift capabilities, improving its ability to respond to military and humanitarian crises in India and around the globe, he added.

"This deal could potentially create up to 30,000 jobs in the US and would be particularly important for Southern California: the assembly line for these colossal aircraft is located in Long Beach, just a mere 80 miles up the freeway," Blake said in his address in San Diego, California.

As India emerges as a global player, it seeks to build a 21 st century military with the latest cutting-edge technology, he said, adding instead of relying on its historical partner Russia for hardware, it has started to look to the US, and San Diego-based companies are a key component.

"For instance, a company called 'M Ship, based mere blocks away from the San Diego harbour, is a small, but very innovative naval architecture and technology firm that recently conceived of and developed the M80 Stiletto, an experimental Navy craft with a patented M-shaped hull," he said.

The 'M hull' is designed to limit wake and ensure a calm ride, even at high rates of speed, often critical for sensitive military missions.

"M Ship has reached out to begin 'preliminary work' with a Hyderabad-based company to find new building materials. M Ship's CEO Bill Burns notes could enable further US-India collaboration in M Ship's building and design endeavours," Blake said.

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