On Tuesday, ahead of PM Modi’s visit to the United States this month, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared a multi-billion dollar deal for 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers and 22 Apache attack helicopters with American aviation giant Boeing
“The deal for Apache and Chinook [helicopters] has been cleared,” government sources said.
Experts in defence sector had expected the deal, to be valued over $2.5 billion and since 2013 pending following finalisation of cost agreement, was signed during the visit of U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter in June 2015.
Apache deal is a hybrid one, as one deal to be signed with Boeing for the choppers and the other with the U.S. government for its radars, weapons and electronic warfare suites.
The United States has been pushing for this deal as it will further bolster American presence in the burgeoning defence market in South-East Asia.
Over the last decade American firms have over bagged defence contracts from here worth around $10 billion, that includes for aircraft like C-130J Super Hercules, P-8I maritime surveillance planes and C-17 Globemaster-III in the transport category.
Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister will leave for the United States on Wednesday to attend the U.N. General Assembly.
The chopper contract had survived over 10 price extensions from the U.S. side with the last one being for a month as desired by India.
The deal will have clauses to place follow-on orders for four extra Chinooks and 11 more Apaches.
Two of the platforms that have been in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan had beaten off competition from Russia, that had offered its Mi-26 heavy-lift copters and Mi-28N Night Hunter.