The United States has signed deals with India to provide the South Asian country with military helicopters worth a total of more than USD3 billion.
"Today we expanded our defence co-operation with agreements for India to purchase more than USD3 billion [worth] of advanced American military equipment, including Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters," said US President Donald Trump during a joint press conference held with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 25 February.
"These deals will enhance our joint defence capability as our two militaries continue to train and operate side by side," added Trump, who had held talks with Modi earlier that day.
Although no further details were provided, Indian officials told Jane's that the deals were for 24 Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky MH-60R multirole naval helicopters for the Indian Navy (IN) worth a total of USD2.6 billion, and for six Boeing 'AH-64E(I)' Apache Guardian attack helicopters for India's Army Aviation Corps (AAC) worth a total of about USD800 million.
Military officials said that India will acquire the MH-60R rotorcraft, which will feature both anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capabilities, under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. The acquisition of the six Apaches, however, will take place as a 'hybrid' purchase, combining a direct commercial sale (DCS) with Boeing and an FMS with the US government.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) had signed a similar 'hybrid' deal for 22 Apaches in September 2017 for about USD2.02 billion. By late 2019 the service had inducted eight of these platforms.
The DCS part of the AAC's Apache deal includes the platform, logistics support, spares, and after-sales service.
The FMS portion is comprised of the helicopters' General Electric T700-701D turboshaft engines, electro-optical sensors, radars, weapon systems - including AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra-70 rockets - as well as training and platform certification.
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