The Indian army will soon be able to operate Apache attack helicopters as the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared a long-pending proposal for the same, PTI reported. Six choppers will be procured for the army at a cost of Rs 4168 crore. The decision was taken at a meeting of the DAC chaired by defence minister Arun Jaitley. This is the first time that the Army will be able to operate attack helicopters as it has long been demanding its own fleet of such choppers besides the Air Force.
India, in the past, had ordered 22 Apache and Chinook helicopters from Boeing in 2015. The Apache choppers are operated in the armed forces of United States, Israel and The Netherlands among other nations. The Boeing AH-64 Apache can seat a two-man crew and is equipped with nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition, night vision systems, four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons capable of carrying hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The US, which reportedly has more than 800 Apaches in service, first used the chopper during military action in Panama in 1989.
The DAC has also cleared a proposal to procure two gas turbine engines for naval ships at a cost of Rs 490 crore, PTI said.