US approves sale of Apache attack helicopters, missiles to India
The Trump administration has approved a deal to sell six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $930 million as well as Hellfire and Stinger missiles to bolster the country’s ability to defend its homeland and deter “regional threats”, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
The Pentagon’s notification to the Congress comes ahead of the first 2+2 dialogue between India and the US next month in Washington DC involving the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their American counterparts Mike Pompeo and James Mattis.
Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency notified the Congress about the State department’s decision. The sale is expected to pass through if no lawmaker opposes the notification.
The AH-64 Apache is a multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US Army and a number of international defence forces.
The contract also includes fire control radars; Hellfire Longbow missiles; Stinger Block I-92H missiles; night vision sensors and inertial navigation systems.
In its notification to the Congress, the Pentagon said, “This will strengthen India’s ability to defend its homeland and deter regional threats.”
“This support for the AH-64E will provide an increase in India’s defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernise its armed forces. India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces,” the Pentagon said.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it said.
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