New Delhi: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) yesterday cleared a multi-billion dollar deal for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers with American aviation giant Boeing.
The deal, which is valued to be over USD 2.5 billion, has been pending since 2013 following finalisation of cost negotiations.
American companies have over the last decade bagged defence contracts from India worth around USD 10 billion, including for aircraft like P-8I maritime surveillance planes, C-130J 'Super Hercules' and C-17 Globemaster-III in the transport category.
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Here is what you need to know about this deal:
1- Apaches are described as the most lethal helicopters in the world. Boeing has made over 2,100 machines until now with their first one being introduced in service in 1984.
2- The deal between India and Boeing is for Block III configuration AH 64D Apaches that the US first got in 2011. The deal for Apache is "a hybrid one", with one contract to be signed with Boeing for the helicopter and the other with the US government for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.
3- AH 64D Longbow helicopters are one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, featuring all-weather and night fighting features. They have the tremendous ability to track upto 128 targets in less than a minute and engage with 16, besides stealth characteristics, advanced sensors and beyond visual range missiles. The chopper is equipped with infrared systems, day-night operability and can fire Hellfire missiles part from arsenal of 70 mm rockets and an automatic cannon.
India will also be acquiring Hellfire missiles and rockets.
4- Apache will replace Russia made Mi 35 that are on the verge of retirement.
5- A total of 22 choppers are being bought for $ 1.4 billion. The contract will have clauses to place follow-on orders for 11 more Apaches.