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Sikorsky eyes $8-12 bln India defence deals

US built Sikorsky helicopters (L) the UH60A/L Black Hawk and the SH-60B Seahawk (R) are displayed at the U.S. Air Force stand at the Paris Airshow at Le Bourget June 19. REUTERS/Gareth Watkins

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp, an arm of United Technologies, is eyeing defence deals worth $8-12 billion in India by 2018 and plans to manufacture its Black Hawk helicopters locally, a top official said on Wednesday.

“We are committed to approach the Indian market with the same viewpoint as we approach the U.S. market,” the firm’s global vice president Steve Estill told Reuters.

“We are going to bring the Black Hawk here and also manufacture it in India.”

Estill said the firm would expand its facility in Hyderabad city to make the military choppers. The unit currently makes aerospace components under a joint venture with India’s salt-to-steel conglomerate Tata group.

Apart from selling 16 helicopters worth $600-700 million to India, Sikorsky will also lease out 20 choppers to the coast guard, Estill said.

India has a defence budget of $29.39 billion for the year to March 31, a quarter more than the previous financial year. It has also earmarked $562 million to boost border security and police forces.

(Reporting by Bappa Majumdar; editing by Malini Menon)

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