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Army to Get 6 Apache Attack Helicopters in Deal Worth Rs 4,168 Crore

This is the first time the Army will get attack helicopters. The Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter is the most advanced multi-role heavy attack helicopter in the world.

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Updated:August 18, 2017, 12:00 AM IST
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Army to Get 6 Apache Attack Helicopters in Deal Worth Rs 4,168 Crore
An AH-64E Apache attack helicopter takes part in a military drill southern Taiwan. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo)
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New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the purchase of six Boeing Co Apache attack helicopters for the Army in a deal worth Rs 4,168 crore, a defence ministry official said on Thursday.

The go ahead was given at a meeting 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.

The order follows on from India's previous purchase of 22 Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015 for Rs 13, 952 crore for the Air Force. The Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter is the most advanced multi-role heavy attack helicopter in the world.

Initially, the Army had asked for 22 attack helicopters to be transferred to its custody. This demand was rejected by the Air Force. The IAF has strongly opposed the creation of a separate mini-Air wing by the Army, which the former felt would reduce its role.

The two forces had settled on the acquisition of 11 attack choppers, but after several delays, the defence ministry has settled on a deal for six choppers for the Army.

The Army has pitched for its own dedicated attack fleet for a long time. It wants to integrate the helicopters with its strike corps and deploy them along the Line of Control against Pakistan. For this, it had demanded 39 Apache choppers in total.

It has already placed orders for 114 indigenously developed LCH and the Rudra helicopters, the weaponised version of the Advanced Light Helicopters. There is no clarity whether the choppers will be deployed along the LAC with China, even though there are several operational helipads in this region.
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