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US to sell six Apache attack helicopters to India

US to sell six Apache attack helicopters to India

Washington, June 13 (UNI) The Trump administration has approved the sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $930 million, saying it would improve the security of India which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia and strengthen US-India strategic partnership.

The State Department approval for the possible Foreign Military Sale of items came on Tuesday after the Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the sale.

And if no lawmaker raises an objection, the deal will pass through the Congress.

In addition to aircraft, the sale includes night vision sensors, GPS guidance and hundreds of Hellfire anti-armor and Stinger air-to-air missiles.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia," DSCA said in a release.

"This support for the AH-64E will provide an increase in India's defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernize its armed forces. India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces.

There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, it added.

DSCA said India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces.

The sale of the equipment and support will also "not alter the basic military balance in the region."

Implementation of this proposed sale will require US Government or contractor representatives to travel to India for a period of one week at a time to conduct a detailed discussion of the various aspects of the hybrid programme with Government of India representatives.

Additional travel will be required for equipment de-processing/fielding, system checkout and new equipment training and Contractor Furnished Service Representatives (CFSR) for a period of thirty months.

The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Electric, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Longbow Limited Liability Corporation, and Raytheon Company, Tucson, AZ.

In 2016, the US accorded India the status of a "major defence partner", which allows New Delhi to avail dual-use technologies receive license-free access to a range of military.

The two countries had entered into an updated 10-year Defence Framework Agreement a year before, expanding their defence and strategic partnership until 2025.

UNI SRJ

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