The Indian Cabinet Committee for Security Today has cleared the purchase of $2.5 billion Boeing’s Apache and Chinook helicopters deal ahead of Prime Minister’s visit to the US.
The deal was awaiting the clearance from the cabinet after the Finance Ministry approved the deal last week. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled visit to UN general assembly meeting in New York.
The decision by the finance ministry came after a delay of nearly three years and 13 price extensions.
Boeing last extended the price deadline in June. The last extension was to end this month.
With Boeing and US Army Security Assistance Command threatening to escalate the price after September 30 by nearly 40% after holding it steady since 2009, finance minister Arun Jaitley, defense minister Manohar Parrikar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval put their heads together last week.
The decision was pending since April when the Apache proposal was sent to the finance ministry on April 23, while the proposal to buy Chinooks was sent in May.
India plans to purchase 22 Apache AH 64D Longbow helicopters with purchase option of another 11 at the cost of $2 billion. This state-of-the-art attack helicopter will be acquired with Hell Fire missiles and around 8,000 rockets.
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.