The Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee has invited international defense vendors to jointly develop defense equipment with the 39 labs and factories of the Government. Mukherjee said that India had indigenously developed several components of its arsenal and joint ventures with the Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) can use the ordinance factories to mass-produce arms for export. The US Ambassador to India David Mulford said that India and the US have "entered a new era" of relationship and defense cooperation that will help them improve regional and global security and stability. Participating in the DefExpo, 22 major US defense vendors and the US Army are visiting India. India had placed an order for 126 F-18 Super Hornets fitted with Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA). This multi-billion USD order, awaiting US Congress approval, will require Boeing and F-18 partners Northup Grumman and General Electric to source 30% of components from an Indian subsidiaries.