Indian Army is about to kick-up its technological efficiency by buying six super-heavy-duty military grade Apache choppers from United States and these helicopters will cost a massive Rs 4170 Crores!
As one of the largest army in terms of manpower, the Indian Army is finally getting their own heavy-duty attack helicopters after a bitter tussle with the IAF over the last several years. The six Apache choppers will be built in US by Boeing and will be armed with Hellfire and Stinger missiles. The air assets will be a major component in tank battles along the western front for India. The helicopters the army has ordered are armed with anti-tank missiles, rockets and a 30 mm gun. The AH-64E is capable of destroying tanks or hardened structures which it detects through a several sensors which enable the chopper to be used both during the day and night in any weather condition.
Although the Army Aviation Corps was created, attack helicopters didn’t come easily to the Army. A bitter and long drawn tussle ensued with the Indian Air Force over control of the Apache attack helicopters, which are to replace the ageing Mi-35s of the IAF. In September 2015, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved the purchase of Boeing’s 22 Apaches for the IAF. The Centre then had said that the Army will also acquire these helicopters under a follow on order, but the procurement was being delayed.
For years, the army has been trying to convince the Defence Ministry that it needs it’s own integral attack helicopters so that it doesn’t need to call in the Indian Air Force for its operations. Though army pilots have been deputed to Mi-35 attack helicopter squadrons of the Indian Air Force, this is the first time that the army has got the go-ahead to acquire its own state-of-the art attack choppers. In another deal, the DAC gave approval for procuring two gas turbine engines from Ukraine, to be fitted on the two stealth frigates under construction in Russia. They will cost over ₹490 crore. The latest acquisition increases the opportunities the Army can utilise in land battles. The helicopters will first enhance mechanised operations comprising tanks and infantry combat vehicles in deserts and semi-desert regions.