Четверг, 14 Декабря, 2017

Army gets its way on attack helicopters

An Apache attack helicopter from the US Army’s 1st battalion An Apache attack helicopter from the US Army’s 1st battalion
Kenny Thornton | 18 Августа, 2017, 08:11

Indian Defense Ministry agreed on Thursday to buy six attack helicopters from the United States company Boeing, while India is strengthening its military strength amid border tensions with China and Pakistan, Indian officials said.

The army is set to get its own attack helicopters for the first time, ending an air force monopoly after a prolonged turf battle. In 2014, the defence ministry had an agreement whereby they would not allow attack helicopters for the army and till now, the army has only "non-armed" helicopters. This means that both the services would operate several helicopter types, which would mean duplication of efforts for logistics, maintenance and support.

Top sources in the MoD said after the DAC that the proposal made by the Indian Army was evaluated and it was chose to approve the purchase of six attack choppers.

The military procurement board, which oversees major deals, agreed to give the green light for the purchase of six additional Apache helicopters, 22 of which were purchased in a 2015 deal worth 2.5 billion dollars.

The army wanted control of these 22 but had been overruled by the air force, which was also opposed to the army having its own attack helicopters, fearing a reduction in its role.

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

In another deal, the DAC gave approval for procuring two gas turbine engines from Ukraine, to be fitted on the two stealth frigates under construction in 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.

The AH-64-E choppers will come along with associated equipment, spares and weapons system, at a cost of Rs. 4,168 crore.

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