Indian Army to get its first attack helicopters - Boeing Apache

Claudine Rigal
Août 17, 2017

The Indian army will soon be able to operate Apache attack helicopters as the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared a long-pending proposal for the same, PTI reported.

The six Apache AH-64E choppers will come with associated equipment which include spares, training, weapons and ammunition. This deal comes after India's purchase of 22 Apache and Chinook choppers from Boeing in 2015.

Besides, Apache, DAC also cleared a proposal to procure two gas turbine engines for naval ships at a cost of Rs 490 crore.

Indian Army is all set to get Apache attack helicopters from US-based manufacturer Boeing, in a move that will greatly modernise and enhance its offensive capabilities.

Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to global customers.

The DAC also cleared gas turbines worth Rs 490 crore to power India's latest frigates built in Russian Federation.

The Indian Army can also acquire 95 of the Indian-built LCH or Light Combat Helicopters
The Indian Army can also acquire 95 of the Indian-built LCH or Light Combat Helicopters

The first lot of 22 helicopters which were approved by the Ministry of Defence in September 2015 have been allocated to the IAF and the army wants the follow-on order for itself. However, the IAF was not in favour of the army's proposal.

The helicopters the army has ordered are armed with anti-tank missiles, rockets and a 30 mm gun.

For years, the army has been trying to convince the Defence Ministry that its needs its own integral attack helicopters so that it doesn't need to call in the Indian Air Force for its operations. Though army pilots have been deputed to Air Force Mi-35 attack helicopter squadrons of the Indian Air Force, this is the first time that the army has got the go-ahead to acquire its own state-of-the art attack choppers.

While two of these frigates are lying half-constructed at the Russian Yantar Shipyard due to a cash-crunch and bilateral problems between Russia and Ukraine, the other two will be built in the Goa Shipyard in India. With tension continuing between the two nations, Ukraine has refused to supply any more engines to Russian Federation.

Sources added that the defence minister also took stock of other procurement proposals, and said there should be close monitoring and expeditious clearance of pending capital acquisitions, especially for those which are in advanced stages.

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