The U.S. State Department has approved a potential direct commercial sale of six additional Boeing AH-64E Apache heavy attack helicopters to India for an estimated cost of USD 930 million.
Indian Air Force operates 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters procured from Boeing through the Foreign Military Sales programme of the U.S. government under a USD 3 billion deal in September 2015.
Further, during the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to India in February 2020, India signed a deal for six more Apaches to cost around USD 800 million to be operated by the Army.
The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. Used by the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defence forces, India is the 16th nation to select the Apache.
The AH-64E is an advanced multi-mission helicopter with the latest technology insertions, maintaining its standing as the world’s best attack helicopter.
It is the only available combat helicopter with a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement, including greater thrust and lifts, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.
Apache helicopters, referred to as “tank killers,” come armed with Hellfire precision-strike missiles and air-to-air Stinger missiles.
Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL), a joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL), was established in 2016 to manufacture fuselages for the AH-64 Apache. TBAL’s 14,000 sq.m. Hyderabad facility has been delivering AH-64 Apache fuselages since May 2018.
The advanced manufacturing facility will eventually become the sole producer of AH-64 fuselages in the world, with 90% parts sourced from Indian suppliers.
Torbjorn Sjogren, vice-president of international government and defence at Boeing, says the F/A-18 Super Hornet is the right aircraft for the Indian Navy.
Pitching its F/A-18 Super Hornets as the premier carrier aircraft in the world, US aviation major Boeing has said that their fighter offers more to the Indian Navy than competitor Rafale M by French firm Dassault Aviation.
Underlining that the Super Hornets are the US Navy’s clear choice for operations anywhere in the world, Torbjorn Sjogren, vice-president of international government and defence at Boeing, told in an exclusive interview that the company has the right aircraft for both the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
If the Indian Navy chooses Super Hornet, India’s cooperation with the US will deepen further. The US has the largest original equipment manufacturers in India and the Super Hornet has inter-operability with Boeing P8I and Lockheed Martin MH-60 R anti-submarine warfare helicopters purchased by India for the Navy.