The Indian Army will finally get six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. The Defence ministry on Thursday cleared a long pending proposal to procure the helicopters for the army at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore, official sources said.
The go ahead was given at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley. This is the first time the Army will get attack helicopters.
The DAC also cleared a proposal to procure two gas turbine engines for naval ships at a cost of Rs 490 crore, sources said. India had signed a nearly $3 billion deal for purchase of 22 Apache with American aviation giant Boeing and the US government.
Why AH-64E APACHE attack helicopter important for Indian Army:
The Apache will be the first pure attack helicopter in India Army's possession. It will give the land forces tactical advantage it has been lacking.
Described as the most lethal attack helicopter in the world, the Apache has been in service since 1984 with over 2,100 machines produced. The version that India is purchasing is the latest Block III configuration that the US first got in 2011. A total of 22 choppers were bought for $ 1.4 billion in 2015, which were handed over to IAF. Now six additional have been procurred for Indian Army.
The stealthy, versatile chopper is designed for all kinds of missions. Equipped with laser and infrared systems for a weather, day-night operability, the Apache fires the Hellfire missiles, besides its arsenal of 70 mm rockets and an automatic cannon.