New Delhi(Sputnik) – In what could provide a major boost to India's operational strength along the border with China, the country's defense ministry has approved the purchase of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the highest decision making body of the defense ministry, has given its consent to the project in a meeting held on Thursday afternoon. According to defense sources, the much awaited attack helicopters will come along with associated equipment including spares and ammunition.
The Indian Army then moved a separate proposal seeking 39 attack helicopters. According to the proposal, the Indian Army was to receive its first tranche of eleven helicopters under the options clause of the 2015 deal.
Presently, the Indian Army operates the homemade Dhruv-WSI (weapon system integrated) attack helicopters. It has already placed an order of over 100 such helicopters from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. 50% of the components of the twin engine, multi-role helicopter is imported. They are considered highly efficient for close air support and high altitude operations. Dhruv Helicopter is equipped with 20 millimeter turret gun and can carry 70 millimeter rockets, the Mistral air to air missile, air to ground missile, helmet pointing system and anti-tank missiles.