India’s Air Force is selling a Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for $25 billion, the country’s defence minister said on Wednesday, after a Pentagon review of the plane’s performance and affordability.
The F-22 Raptor, which the Air Force purchased from Lockheed Martin in 2013, will be used by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy to conduct air combat operations in a wide range of environments, including “sea and air and maritime”, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The Indian Air force will be equipped with F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the ministry said.
The Pentagon also plans to purchase 36 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets from the United Arab Emirates, with plans to acquire four more.
The US also has a fleet of Apache attack helicopters, and plans to buy another two in 2017, the Pentagon said.
India has long been interested in the F-5 stealth fighter, which was designed in the US and first deployed in 2003.
The aircraft was first deployed on India’s nuclear-powered submarines in 2010, and is considered the most advanced military aircraft in the Indian fleet.
The air force has also sought the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, which are the most capable fighter jets in the country.
The government has also been looking to procure the F35 for its armed forces.
India has been considering buying the aircraft since 2012, but the US government said in October that it could not agree on price terms.
The US government also said in November that it was unable to agree on the purchase price.
The defence ministry said that in the past, the Indian government had offered the F25, but it had declined to sell.