India likely to exercise option for 11 more Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters

India approves procurement of 39 attack helicopters for Army Aviation Corps

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

22 May 2017

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the acquisition of 39 attack helicopters for the Army Aviation Corps (AAC).

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, sanctioned the AAC’s long-standing request for attack helicopters on 20 May, with the three proposed helicopter squadrons set to be operated by the Indian Army’s (IA’s) three offensive ‘strike’ formations.

Official sources told Jane’s that the IA is likely to exercise the option to import 11 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters to supplement the 22 acquired by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2015 for over USD1.2 billion.

The AAC is anxious to sign the deal for the additional Apaches – under the same terms and conditions that applied to the IAF procurement deal – before the two-year deadline of 28 September 2017 expires.

Original post janes.com

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Background

In 2015  the Govt. of India approved the purchase of the battle proven AH-64 Apache Gunship Helicopters for the Indian Air Force for approximately $2.5bn. The total amount included the delivery of 22 Apache Helicopters along with Weapons, radars and warfare equipment that will arm the Apache Gunship to the teeth.

The contract however had an open option for India to purchase additional helicopters if required. Internal sources suggest that the Govt.may invoke this option and go for an additional purchase of 39 more Apache Gunships from the U.S.

The first 22 Gunships are meant to replace the aging Mi-35 Attack Helicopters that were bought from Russia for the Indian Air Force. The additional 39 Apache Gunships that the Govt. proposes to buy will be merged with India’s four Mountain Strike Corps. This will give the required offensive firepower to tear into enemy territory, may it be China or Pakistan.

The 39 proposed Gunships will be within the control of the Indian Army and not the Air Force.

The first lot of 22 Apache Helicopters will be delivered to the Indian Air Force within the next three years. The time frame for the additional 39 proposed Apache Gunships is however not confirmed as the deal is not yet signed. Source defencenews.in

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AgustaWestland_Apache_AH1_10_(5968018661)

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