Army to get 6 new Boeing Apache attack helicopters

18 Aug 2017


The Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the purchase of six more Boeing Co Apache helicopters in a deal worth close to Rs4,200 crore ($654.6 million), sources in the defence ministry said.

The AH-64E Apache multi-role combat helicopters, considers as among the most advanced, will come with associated equipment, including spares, training and ammunition. The four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter has a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.

It is equipped with a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and has a major systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.

The chopper also has all-weather and night fighting features and stealth characteristics, among many others.

The order for the six Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army follows India's earlier purchase order for 22 Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015, which is yet to be confirmed.

The Army has long been pitching for its own dedicated fleet of attack helicopters.

India currently operates a mix of Russian Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters, which are used by the Indian Air Force.

The helicopter is also the main attack helicopter of countries like Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates

In September last year, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared a deal, valued to be over $2.5 billion and pending since 2013, for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing.

American companies have over the last decade bagged defence contracts from India worth around $10 billion, including for aircraft like P-8I maritime surveillance planes, C-130J 'Super Hercules' and C-17 Globemaster-III in the transport category.

The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by the defence minister, also cleared an order for gas turbine engines - worth an estimated Rs490 crore - for two ships currently under construction in Russia.

The gas turbines will be bought by India from Ukraine due to the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine.

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