NEW DELHI: Having already bagged lucrative Indian defence deals worth $17 billion just since 2007, the US is pulling out all the stops for the Aero-India slated to kick off at Bangalore on Wednesday.

Apart from displaying its C-17 Globemaster-III airlifters, F-16 and F/A-18 fighter jets, there will also be a fly-by by the iconic B-52 Stratofortress bombers from the Andersen USAF base at Guam during the show. 

The Boeing-manufactured B-52 Stratofortress aircraft is a long-range subsonic strategic bomber, which can carry up to 32,000 kg of weapons with a combat range of 8,800 miles without aerial refuelling. The B-52 bombers, which will fly over Bangalore during the inaugural day of the airshow, are assigned to the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at the Andersen base," said a US embassy statement.

US ambassador Ken Juster, in turn, said this would be the largest-ever American participation in Aero-India, which will include defence, state and commerce officials as well as 28 private companies. "The US and India are committed to strengthening defence cooperation, in line with India's status as a Major Defence Partner (MDP). Defence acquisitions are an important component in deepening our bilateral ties and contributing to a balanced trade relationship," he added.

In another mega deal in the pipeline, India recently issued the "letter of request" to the US government for the Rs 13,500 crore acquisition of 24 naval multi-role MH-60 'Romeo' helicopters, armed with torpedoes and missiles for potent anti-submarine warfare capabilities, as was first reported by TOI.

The government-to-government deal for the MH-60 choppers, manufactured by Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin, under the US foreign military sales (FMS) program is expected to be inked within a year. India has brought most of its weapon systems from the US, like the C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift aircraft, C-130J "Super Hercules" planes and M-777 ultralight howitzers, through the FMS program.

The US, of course, is now also aggressively hawking its F/A-18 or F-16 fighter production line for the IAF's over $20 billion "Make in India" competition for 114 jets as well as the Navy's quest for 57 carrier-capable fighters. India and the US are also in advanced talks for 22 armed Predator-B or weaponised Sea Guardian drones.