PHILADELPHIA–Indian government officials are preparing to debrief their counterparts in the Pentagon on their recent decision to dismiss the American-built aircraft from its ongoing fighter competition, according to a senior industry executive.

The debriefing, which will be conducted via government-to-government talks over the next few weeks, will cover the specifics on why the Boeing [BA]- built F/A-18 Super Hornet was dropped from the competition last month, Mark Kronenberg, vice president for international business development in the company’s defense space and security division, said during a media briefing here yesterday.

Kronenberg did not go into details on what the pending report would cover, or speculate on what aspects of the Navy fighter ended up going against what Indian military leaders wanted, simply saying the fighter “did not meet the customer’s request.”

Along with the Boeing jet, Indian officials also eliminated the Lockheed Martin [LMT]-built F-16 during the competition downselect, leaving the Dassault Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon to vie for the multi-million production contract.

New Delhi in 2009 began long-flight evaluations for the purchase of 126 multirole fighters, with a firm option for at least 50 percent more. A contract could ultimately be worth up to $20 billion, according to industry sources.

India plans to replace hundreds of MiG-21s with 126 aircraft that would fit somewhere in between its high-end Russian Su-30MKIs and its low-end indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft fighters.

The decision to nix the Boeing fighter from the competition came shortly before New Delhi approved a $4 billion deal to buy a number of C-17 Globemasters. The deal will cover a 10-plane buy that will support global airlift requirements for the Indian Air Force.

Despite the loss of the Indian fighter sale, the C-17 deal has bolstered Boeing’s plans to garner a larger share of the international military aviation market, Chris Raymond, vice president for business development, said at the same briefing.

Among those global defense industry markets Boeing is looking to get into, Raymond said the company was focusing on prospective deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Japan and South Korea. Further, Riyadh has also expressed interest in buying a number of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and P-8 Poseidon surveillance planes as well, Raymond said.

Most recently, officials with the Japanese Self-Defense Air Force kicked off their own “F-X” fighter competition, with members of the Japanese Ministry of Defense expecting to have all offers in by August, with platform selection expected by the end of this year.

Boeing has already put in place an integrated product team to pitch the F/A-18 to Japan, David Mills, Boeing’ campaign manager for F-X, told Defense Daily in February.

The company has also recently unveiled a new international variant of the Super Hornet, specifically designed to address the needs of the foreign military market, and has been conducting informal talks on possible procurement of Boeing jets with a number of countries currently tied to the Joint Strike Fighter program.