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Indian Army to get 6 Apache attack choppers

Apache

New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council on Thursday cleared a proposal to buy six Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army at a cost of around Rs 4,168 crore, according to reports.

The AH-64E Apache helicopters will come with associated equipment including spares, training and ammunition. The DAC also cleared a proposal to buy two sets of gas turbines from Ukraine for two Grigorovich class ships being built in Russia for India. The go ahead was given at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.

The ‘AH-64-E’ choppers are known as one of the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters which have advanced weapons systems and night-fighting features.

The gas turbines will be bought by India from Ukraine due to the ongoing tension between the two nations – Russia and Ukraine. Their cost is Rs 490 crore.

A high-level body called the Services Capital Acquisition Categorization Higher Committee (SCAPCHC), with representatives of the IAF and the army had decided that the 11 copters should be taken as they were required, as per reports.

The first lot of 22 helicopters which were approved by the Ministry of Defence in September 2015 has been allocated to the IAF and the army wants the follow-on order for itself. However, the IAF was not in favour of the army’s proposal.

Sources added that the defence minister also took stock of other procurement proposals, and said there should be close monitoring and expeditious clearance of pending capital acquisitions, especially for those which are in advanced stages.

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