JUN 13, 2018 — The United States government has approved a deal to sell the Indian military six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters manufactured by Boeing for $930 million, the State Department said Tuesday.
The agreement has been passed to the US Congress for approval, but if no US lawmaker raises an objection the contract is expected to go ahead.
Boeing and Indian partner Tata have begun to produce Apache fuselages at a plant in India, but Tuesday’s approval concerns a direct sale of finished products from US manufacturers.
The lead contractors are US arms, aviations and engineering giants Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon.
In addition to aircraft, the contract includes night vision sensors, GPS guidance and hundreds of Hellfire anti-armor and Stinger air-to-air missiles.
The proposed sale will “strengthen India’s ability to defend its homeland and deter regional threats” and “provide an increase in India’s defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernize its armed forces,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, in a statement.
The DSCA news release said ‘the sale as requested by India would help in strengthening US-Indian strategic relationship’ and to ‘improve the security of an important partner ‘. “The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” the statement added.
The order of six helicopters is in addition to an order for 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters India placed in September 2015. Deliveries of the initial helicopters are scheduled to begin in 2019.
In a related note, on June 1, Tata Boeing Aerospace delivered the first AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselage made in Hyderabad. The joint venture between Boeing and Tata will be the sole Apache helicopter fuselage producer for Boeing’s global customers including the U.S. Army. Completed fuselages will be transported to Boeing’s facility in Arizona for integration, the Defense Post reported.
India is also set to buy a batch of anti-tank guided missiles from Israel in a bid to boost its military’s ground capabilities and war preparedness.