* Boeing helicopter contract talks proceed as planned-exec
* U.S. company sees additional opportunities for C-17 sales
* Boeing in talks with Indian airlines for 737-MAX sales
* India defence spending to be tightened
By Anurag Kotoky and A. Anathalakshmi
BANGALORE, Feb 7 (Reuters)- Boeing Co's contract
talks with India for military helicopters will be unaffected by
planned budget cuts, an executive said on Thursday, a day after
the country's defence minister said spending on arms would be
India, the world's biggest arms importer in recent years as
it looks to upgrade its mostly Soviet-era military hardware, is
cutting defence spending as part of a wider push by New Delhi to
rein in its fiscal deficit.
"There is nothing that will lead me to believe there will be
any delays," said Dennis Swanson, vice president, international
business development at Boeing's Defence, Space and Security
"India is one of our biggest growth markets. We are
certainly aware of (the budget cuts). We are not changing
anything that we are doing," Swanson told Reuters in an
interview on the sidelines of an air show in the Indian city of
Boeing is in exclusive talks to sell 22 of its Apache combat
helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy lift helicopters to India.
Swanson declined to comment on the deal value when asked by
India agreed in 2011 to buy 10 C-17 military cargo planes
from Boeing in a $4.1 billion deal, but overlooked the U.S.
company in favour of France's Dassault Aviation for a
highly sought-after $10 billion fighter jet contract.
"We do see additional opportunities for C-17s," Swanson
added, without providing details.
The U.S. company's civil aviation division is in talks to
sell its 737-MAX aircraft to Indian carriers Jet Airways
, SpiceJet and Air India, another
executive told Reuters in a separate interview.
"737 has been the mainstay of domestic aviation in India ...
All these airplanes will be replaced some day and the
replacement for that is MAX," Dinesh Keskar, Boeing's
vice-president for sales in Asia Pacific said. "We are in
conversations with the airlines here."
State-run passenger carrier Air India was the world's fifth
airline to take delivery of Boeing's Dreamliner jet, and has
ordered 27 in total.
The manufacturer will address compensation issues over the
grounded Dreamliners after the troubled aircraft take to the
skies again, Keskar said.