In a move that might further strengthen Indo-US defence ties, India has agreed to approve a pending approval for the last three years. The much-delayed deal to buy 22 Boeing’s Apache attack and 15 Chinook helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a deal worth around $2.5 billion from the US.
The Indian Finance Ministry has given green signals to the deal. The new development comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US where he will be addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York and also meet US President Barack Obama.
It is the single biggest defence contract signed in the first 16 months of the NDA government.
The contract is believed to have an option for follow-on orders for 11 more Apaches and four extra Chinooks. The deal for Apache is in two parts: one Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) contract will be signed with Boeing for the attack helicopter, while another will be a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the US government for its weapons, radars and electronic warfare equipment. The Chinook, which was selected after extensive trials in 2012, is being acquired as a DCS deal.