US approves the sale of Apache helicopters to India
The United States approved the sale of six high-end Apache helicopters to the Indian Army. The US State Department has said that it has agreed to sell six ‘AH-64E’ Apache Attack Helicopters costing 930 million dollars.
The agreement reached the US Congress for approval. However, the agreement will go ahead if no US lawmaker raises an objection on Contract. Thought Boeing and Indian partner Tata has started manufacturing the main body of Apache helicopter in India, according to contract the fully prepared helicopters will be bought directly from the US.
The lead contractors are US arms, aviation and engineering giants Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon.
The agreement also includes Apache Helicopters, Advanced Night Vision Sensors, GPS Guidance and Stinger Air-to-Air missiles. The US Defense Safety Cooperation Agency has revealed that India’s defence capability will be further strengthened with these Apache helicopters.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, in a statement, “India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”
“This support for the AH-64E will provide an increase in India’s defensive capability to counter ground-armoured threats and modernise its armed forces. India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces,” the Pentagon said.
Bilateral defence trade between India and the United States has risen from near zero to USD 15 billion since 2008.
US government-to-government sales to India in recent years have included C-17 transport aircraft, 155 mm Light-Weight Towed Howitzers, UGM-84L Harpoon missiles, Support for C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) support equipment.
The two countries also agreed to an updated ten-year Defence Framework Agreement in June 2015 to guide and expand their bilateral defence and strategic partnership until 2025.