The US State Department has given a nod to the sale of 6 Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters along with weapon systems and support equipment to Indian Armed Forces that could prove to be a big boost to India. The sale of these attack helicopters was requested by India which has been approved by the US.
As per the news release from Defense Security Cooperation Agency, this move would strengthen the strategic relationship between the two nations. It’s believed that these helicopters would help Indian Armed Forces to tackle ground armored threats.
Apache is manufactured by a company named Boeing which has partnered with TATA to manufacture helicopters for India. The 6 Apache helicopters are meant to be deployed to the rugged Himalayan terrain. The request was made by India in February as part of a follow-up order under the 2015 agreement that included an initial order for 22 such helicopters.
Ever since the order was placed for 22 Apache helicopters, there was a tig of war going on between Indian Army and Indian Air Force to acquire the fighter planes. During the previous government led by Manmohan Singh, it was decided that any future procurement will be meant for the Army.
However, the Indian Air Force claimed to own all 22 helicopters and refused to share even half of the fleet with the Army. Followed by this, the Army went on to propose for 39 attack helicopters but the Defence Ministry approved only for 6 in August 2017.
The approved weapons include rockets, training and dummy missiles, and the following:
• 30 mm cannons and ammunition
• 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow Missiles
• 90 AG-114R-3 Hellfire-II Missiles
• 200 Stinger Block I-92H Missiles
Other constituents include Repair & Return Support, Personnel training equipment, publications and technical documentation, Contractor Engineering and Logistics Support Services, and so on.