Deeply disappointed but respect process: Roemer

New Delhi: With its fighters losing out in the bid for India`s multi-billion dollar deal, the US on Thursday said it was "deeply disappointed" over it but was "respectful" of the procurement process.

In a statement here, Ambassador Timothy Roemer said he had been assured at the highest levels in the Indian government that the procurement process for the fighters "has been and will be transparent and fair"

He said the US looked forward to continuing to grow and develop defence partnership with India.

"The US Embassy in New Delhi was informed yesterday that two aircraft offered by the US Government through the Foreign Military Sales process were not selected for procurement by the Indian Ministry of Defence," the statement said.

"We are reviewing the documents received from the Government of India and are respectful of the procurement process. We are, however, deeply disappointed by this news," Roemer said.

He was commenting on the rejection of Boeing`s F-18 and Lockheed-Martin`s F-16 fighters by India in the bid for multi-billion dollar Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) deal in which Eurofighter and French plane Rafale have been shortlisted.

Roemer said he was "extremely confident" that the Boeing F-18IN and Lockheed-Martin F-16IN would provide the Indian Air Force an "unbeatable platform with proven technologies at a competitive price."

He said he had been personally assured at the highest levels of the Indian government that the "procurement process for this aircraft has been and will be transparent and fair."

Remaining convinced that the US offers its defence partners around the globe the world`s most advanced and reliable technology, the envoy said, "We look forward to continuing to grow and develop our defence partnership with India."