Friday, December 31, 2010

Pentagon notifies Apache helicopters sale to India

With India inviting proposals from foreign suppliers, the Pentagon has notified the US Congress about the possible sale of 22 Apache helicopters and that of AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles to the country at a potential cost of USD 1.6 billion.

The US Defense Department said India has requested proposals from several foreign suppliers, including the US, to provide the next generation attack helicopter for the Indian Air Force.

In this competition, India has yet to select the Boeing-United States Army proposal.

"This notification is being made in advance so that, in the event that the Boeing-US Army proposal is selected, the United States might move as quickly as possible to implement the sale," it said.

The two potential sales, notified to the Congress separately are worth USD 1.6 billion.

The largest sale worth USD 1.4 billion is that of AH-64D Block III Apache helicopters which includes engines, equipment, weapons, training, parts and logistical support.

The second sale of USD 200 million is the package of 21 AGM-84L HARPOON Block II Missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-India strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia," said the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in a statement.

"The proposed sale in support of AH-64D helicopters will improve India's capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.

"This support for the AH-64D will provide an incremental increase in India's defensive capability to counter ground-armoured threats and modernise its armed forces," it said.

"India will have no difficulty absorbing this helicopter support into its armed forces," it said.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed the Congress that India intends to use the missiles on its Indian Navy P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft which will provide enhanced capabilities in effective defense of critical sea lines of communication.

India has already purchased HARPOON Block II missiles for integration on the Indian Air Force Jaguar aircraft and will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons into its armed forces, it said.

If India selects the Boeing-US Army proposal, the Government of India will request a possible sale of 50 T700-GE-701D engines, 12 AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars, 12 AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometers, 812 AGM-114L-3 HELLFIRE LONGBOW missiles, 542 AGM-114R-3 HELLFIRE II missiles, 245 STINGER Block I-92H missiles, and 23 Modernised Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, rockets, training and dummy missiles.

Besides, the order would also include 30mm ammunition, transponders, simulators, global positioning system/inertial navigation systems, communication equipment, spare and repair parts; tools and test equipment, support equipment, repair and return support, personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation, US Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support to be provided in conjunction with a proposed direct commercial sale of 22 AH-64D Block III APACHE Helicopters.

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