New Delhi, August 18: Boost in defence sector is very important for India as it is emerging as the world power. Therefore, India has approved the purchase of six Boeing company made Apache AH-64E multi-role attack helicopters valued at Rs4,168 crore for the army.
Notably, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley cleared the purchase of six Apache AH-64E multi-role attack helicopters valued at Rs4,168 crore for the army on Thursday. The acquisition of the helicopters, equipment and training will cost around 4,168 crore rupees. The Council has also approved a proposal to procure two gas turbine engines for Naval ships at a cost of 490 crore rupees.
However, the new agreement will be in addition to the 2015 decision to buy 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters worth $3 billion for the Indian Air Force under a government-to-government deal with the US. Apaches have been used in conflicts in the Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Meanwhile, Army sources said the apache helicopters, which are expected to be delivered by 2020, will significantly enhance armoured division and will further boost and strengthen the Army's capability to carry out combat operations in border areas. The total cost for the 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook choppers was around USD 3 billion.
The 'AH-64-E' Apache choppers are known as one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters which have advanced weapons systems and night-fighting features. After the government finalised the deal for 22 Apache helicopters for the Indian Air Force, the Army had been pushing for follow on orders of 11 choppers for it, arguing that the ground forces need them considering the changing security scenario in the region. But, the IAF was not in favour of the Army's proposal. Till now, the Army does not have any attack helicopter.