U.S. Congress Asked to Pre-Approve Apache Block III Sale to India

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The Pentagon is asking the U.S. to approve a possible sale of 22 Apache Block III Attack Helicopters to India, prior to a possible selection of the Boeing proposal by New Delhi.
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India is interested in buying 22 AH-64D Block III APACHE Helicopters from the USA. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress on a possible Foreign Military Sale of these helicopters, as part of a package worth about US$1.4 billion. The Indians are evaluating the Block III Apache among several other options for the Air Forces’ next generation attack helicopter. The Indians are also considering the Russian Mil-28N Havoc as an alternative replacement for the Indian Air Force’s Mi-25s. The domestically developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is not an alternative for this program. The Eurocopter Tiger and AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta have been eliminated from the competition at an earlier stage.

The Pentagon is asking the U.S. to approve a possible sale of 22 Apache Block III Attack Helicopters to India, prior to a possible selection of the Boeing proposal by New Delhi.

Boeing has responded to an Indian Air Force Request for Proposal offering the Apache Block III. The Indian Air Force has already conducted field trials for these helicopters in July 2010. The testing has taken place in the Thar Desert in the northwest and will also happen near the Himalayan town of Ladakh in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Those sites represent the extremes the air force could find itself operating in. The Russian helicopter has not yet been cleared for testing in India. While India has not decided about the type of helicopters they will buy, Boeing and the Pentagon are requesting Congress approval in advance of a potential sale to prevent export limitation issues.

The package will include 12 AN/APG-78 Longbow Fire Control Radars, 12 AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometers, 812 AGM-114L-3 HELLFIRE LONGBOW missiles, 542 AGM-114R-3 HELLFIRE II missiles, 245 STINGER Block I-92H missiles, and 23 Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors, rockets.