New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council on Thursday cleared a proposal to buy six Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army at a cost of around Rs 4,168 crore, media reports said. The AH-64E Apache helicopters will come with associated equipment including spares, training and ammunition.
The DAC also cleared a proposal to buy two sets of gas turbines from Ukraine for two Grigorovich class ships being built in Russia for India. The go ahead was given at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley,
The gas turbines will be bought by India from Ukraine due to the ongoing tension between the two nations – Russia and Ukraine. Their cost is Rs 490 crore. According to Reuters, the order follows on from India’s previous purchase of 22 Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015.
A high-level body called the Services Capital Acquisition Categorization Higher Committee (SCAPCHC), with representatives of the IAF and the army had decided that the 11 copters should be taken as they were required, a report by Tribune said.
The first lot of 22 helicopters which were approved by the Ministry of Defence in September 2015 have been allocated to the IAF and the army wants the follow-on order for itself.
The United States chopper won the bid in an open competition beating the Russian built Mi-28-H. In 2014, the defence ministry had an agreement whereby they would not allow attack helicopters for the army and till now, the army has only ‘non-armed’ helicopters.