Boeing has extended the price deadline for the Indian $2.5 billion contract to procure 22 Boeing Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook Heavy-lift helicopters by another three months.
The price validity ended on June 30, 2015. Boeing along with US authorities in February had warned a price hike if India does not finalize the contract soon.
“A decision is expected soon, hence, the company was requested to extend the price deadline for at least three months. So far, the price deadline has been extended at least 10 times since 2013 for 22 Apache AH-64E Apache and 15 Chinook CH-47F,” Financial Express quoted unnamed sources as saying.
No decision regarding the buying has been made by the finance ministry after the files reached it in April for approval. The Apache proposal sent to the finance ministry on April 23, 2015, while the proposal to buy Chinooks was sent in May. The proposals will later go to the cabinet committee on security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for final clearance.
The proposals have clauses to place follow-on orders for 11 more Apaches and four extra Chinooks. Both platforms have seen combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Boeing had beaten off competition from Russia, which had offered its Mi-28N Night Hunter and Mi-26 heavy-lift copters to the IAF.
The Apache attack choppers, armed with fire-and-forget Hellfire missiles, can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritize threats. These missiles equip the helicopter gunships with heavy anti-armor capabilities. The army is moving a case to buy 39 Apache helicopters. The Chinook’s main roles include transporting troops, artillery and battlefield resupply.