Apache AH-64E helicopter. Photo courtesy of Leonardo
The U.S. State Department has cleared the way for India to buy nearly $1 billion worth of Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and associated weapons, sensors, mission systems and simulators.
Under a $930 million direct commercial sales agreement announced June 12, Boeing is approved to sell India six Apaches, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
Also included in the DCS package are 14 T700-GE-701D engines, four AN/APG-78 fire control radars, four Block III radar electronic units (REU), four AN/APR-48B modernized radar frequency interferometers (M-RFI’s), 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles, 200 Stinger man-portable air defense (MANPAD) missiles, seven modernized target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensors (MTADS-PNVS) and 14 embedded GPS inertial navigation systems (EGI).
Various rockets, training and dummy missiles, 30-mm cannons and ammunition, transponders, simulators, communication equipment, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, support equipment, repair and return support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistic and program support are included in the deal.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia,” DCSA said in the announcement. “This support for the AH-64E will provide an increase in India's defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernize its armed forces. India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces.”
U.S.-based defense contractors that will work on the deal include Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Longbow LLC and Raytheon.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require U.S. government or contractor representatives to travel to India for a period of one week at a time to conduct a detailed discussion of the various aspects of the hybrid program with Indian government representatives.
India and the U.S. in 2015 entered a formal agreement charting a course for a mutually supportive defense relationship over the next 10 years, including a tech-sharing agreement called the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
Anticipating increased defense manufacturing cooperation between the two countries, Boeing entered a joint venture with India’s Tata Advanced Systems to manufacture aerostructures for defense and commercial aircraft.
The venture followed closely a previously approved $1.4 billion deal between Boeing and India for 22 AH-64D Block III Apache attack and CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift utility helicopters, making the country’s defense ministry a new customer for the two helicopters.