Bernie Sanders slams Trump's weapons deal with India as Boeing smiles
26 February 2020
US Senator and Democratic Party's frontrunner for the US presidential elections, Bernie Sanders, on Tuesday said the US should partner India to fight climate change instead of selling billions of dollars worth of weapons, even as Boeing welcomed India's decision to acquire six AH-64 Apache helicopters for its Army
"Instead of selling $3 billion in weapons to enrich Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed, the United States should be partnering with India to fight climate change. We can work together to cut air pollution, create good renewable energy jobs, and save our planet," Sanders tweeted.
The 78-year-old senator is one of the staunchest critics of Trump and has cemented his grip on the top spot in the race to find a challenger to the Republican Party leader in the 3 November election.
US Aerospace and defence firm Boeing on Tuesday welcomed India’s decision to acquire six AH-64 Apache helicopters and lifecycle services support for the Indian Army. Boeing said in a statement that the AH-64E Apache will be a force multiplier for the Indian Army just as it is today for the Indian Air Force.
"We congratulate the US and Indian governments on this key milestone and welcome the positive momentum in the bilateral defence trade and industrial partnership. Through our local entity, Boeing Defence India, we are supporting the P-8I, C-17, CH-47 Chinook, and AH-64 Apache with holistic lifecycle support to assist with India’s defence modernisation effort and mission-readiness at competitive costs. This new contract is a testimony to the trust and long standing partnership Boeing has nurtured over the years with our Indian customers and we are committed to delivering on our commitments in the future as well," said Boeing India President Salil Gupte.
It may be recalled that Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by PM Narendra Modi had approved the acquisition of six additional AH-64E Apache attack choppers on February 19.
The Apache contract for six helicopters for the Indian Army follows a contract for 22 helicopters ordered by the Indian Air Force in 2015. Notably, Boeing has already delivered 17 of 22 Apaches to IAF and the remaining five will be delivered by the end of March 2020.
Fuselages and secondary aerostructures for the Army’s Apaches will be manufactured at Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) in Hyderabad. TBAL is already manufacturing fuselages for multiple Apache operators around the world.
It is expected that deliveries of the apache helicopters for the Indian Army would begin in 2023. The Apache sale is a hybrid procurement – Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) between Boeing and MoD and Foreign Military Sale (FMS) between the GoI and USG.
The FMS contract for the Apache includes munitions, training, aircraft certification, and components, including engines, EO sensors and the radar. The direct commercial sale portion of the contract primarily consists of the aircraft (less engines/sensors), logistic support, spares and services.
The AH-64E Apache is by far the most advanced multi-role combat helicopter in the world and it is the backbone of the US Army attack helicopter fleet. These choppers incorporate 26 new technologies designed to enhance its capabilities. To date, more than 400 AH-64E model Apaches have been delivered worldwide.
The AH-64E features Advanced digital connectivity, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and new composite main rotor blade.