India-US sign $3 billion deal to acquire Seahawk & Apache helicopters


India Defence News: India and the US Tuesday concluded defence deals worth over $3 billion during US President Donald Trump’s India visit. The deal for 24 MH-60 Romeo Seahawk submarine hunter helicopters for the Indian Navy and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army was signed in Hyderabad House in New Delhi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with the visiting US leader.

“Earlier today we expanded our defence cooperation with agreements for India to purchase more than $3 billion of advanced U.S. defence equipment including Apache and MH-60R helicopters, the finest in the world,” said Mr. Donald Trump.

A meeting of cabinet committee on security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Modi has cleared the deals last week, paving the way for its signing during the US leader’s maiden India visit.

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Indian Navy was looking to acquire multi-role submarine hunter helicopters to counter growing presence of Chinese Navy (PLAN) in the Indian Ocean. Indian Navy already operates Boeing’s P8i aircraft that has long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

“These deals will enhance our joint defence capability as our militaries continue to train and operate together side by side,” said the US President.

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While Seahawk helicopters are manufactured by Sikorsky, an unit of US defence and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, another US defence major Boeing Defence & Space manufactures Apache helicopters.

Apache helicopters are manufactured at Boeing’s facility in Mesa, Arizona but some parts will also be manufactured by Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited‘s, a joint venture between Boeing India and Tata Group, facility in Hyderabad in India.

India has already received 8 Apache Helicopters for the Air Force (IAF) and remaining 14 are expected to be inducted before the year end.

Boeing AH-64 E Apache Helicopter

AH-64E Apache (official photo).

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These 6 additional Apache helicopters will be inducted into Indian Army. The army will deploy them in Rajasthan at Paksitan border to deter any aggression by Pakistan’s armored columns.

The Seahawk deal is worth around $2.2 billion and the six additional Apaches will cost around $800 million, taking the total value of the deals signed during US President’s visit to $3 billion (Rs 21,000 crore).

While six Romeo Seahawks Romeo helicopters are expected join Indian within 12 months, the rest 18 helicopters will be delivered over the next two years after that.

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