The United States has approved a $930 million deal to sell six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Indian military, according to the State Department and the Pentagon.
According to Press TV, the State Department cleared the agreement and passed to Congress for approval. If no lawmaker raises an objection the contract is expected to go ahead.
The contract also includes support items such as 14 T700-GE-701D General Electric Co engines, radar equipment, night vision sensors, navigation systems and hundreds of Hellfire anti-armor and Stinger air-to-air missiles, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This support for the AH-64E will provide an increase in India’s defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernize its armed forces,” the statement added.
“India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”
Boeing and Indian partner Tata have begun to produce Apache fuselages at a plant in India, but Tuesday’s approval would clear the direct sale of the helicopters from US companies.
American arms, aviations and engineering giants Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon are also contractors for the sale.
India is also in the process of purchasing five regiments of Russian-made S-400 advanced air defense systems.
The US has been pressing India to reconsider that plan and instead switch to American missile systems.
India’s plan to buy 110 fighter jets in the coming years has also prompted Lockheed Martin and Boeing to offer Indian assembly lines for F-16 and F/A-18 jets.