Apache attack helicopters cleared for Army
New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council on Thursday cleared a proposal to buy six Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army at a cost of around Rs 4,168 crore. The decision was taken at a meeting of the DAC chaired by defence minister Arun Jaitley. This is the first time that the Army will be able to operate attack helicopters as it has long been demanding its own fleet of such choppers besides the Air Force.
The AH-64E Apache helicopters will come with associated equipment including spares, training, and ammunition.
The DAC also cleared a proposal to buy two sets of gas turbines from Ukraine for two Grigorovich class ships being built in Russia for India.
India, in the past, had ordered 22 Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015. The Apache choppers are operated in the armed forces of United States, Israel and The Netherlands among other nations. The Boeing AH-64 Apache can seat a two-man crew and is equipped with nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition, night vision systems, four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons capable of carrying hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The US, which reportedly has more than 800 Apaches in service, first used the chopper during military action in Panama in 1989.
The gas turbines will be bought by India from Ukraine due to the ongoing tension between the two nations - Russia and Ukraine. Their cost is Rs 490 crore.