US likely to bag $1.4bn deal for 22 attack choppers

TNN

The US may have been ejected out of the $10.4 billion race to supply 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to the IAF, but it is going great guns on other fronts.

After the $4.1-billion contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft, the US seems all set to bag the $1.4-billion deal for supplying 22 heavy-duty attack helicopters or gunships to the IAF.

While the selection process is still to be completed, after which the Cabinet Committee on Security’s final nod will be required, officials admit Boeing’s AH-64D Apache Longbow has surged well ahead of Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant’s Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ in the gunship sweepstakes.

As earlier reported by TOI, the Obama administration has notified the US Congress about the impending contract, listing out what all India “will request” as part of the “complete package” worth around $1.4 billion.

Besides 22 Apaches, it includes 812 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 542 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire-II missiles, 245 Stinger Block I-92H missiles, 12 AN/APG-78 fire-control radars and the like.

Even if the MMRCA project is kept aside, the US is on way to notch up sales worth over $11 billion to India in the arena of military transport and reconnaissance aircraft alone.

In addition to the $4.1-billion contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III aircraft, which may get bigger in the future with IAF keen on acquiring six more such planes, there is the over $3.1-billion deal for 12 P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

Similarly, negotiations are on for six more C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ heavy-lift aircraft after the ongoing induction of the earlier six C-130Js ordered for $1.2 billion in 2008. Other inked deals include the $822-million for 99 GE F-414 engines for Mark-II version of indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and the $170-million for Harpoon Block-II anti-ship missiles.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Oct 28 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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