Defence ministry to seek CCS approval for US copters
In a bid to beef up its rapid deployment and strike capability, the defence ministry is set to approach the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the acquisition of 15 heavy-lift twin rotor Chinook and 22 Apache Longbow helicopters from US aircraft major Boeing.india Updated: Jan 31, 2015 02:23 IST
In a bid to beef up its rapid deployment and strike capability, the defence ministry is set to approach the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the acquisition of 15 heavy-lift twin rotor Chinook and 22 Apache Longbow helicopters from US aircraft major Boeing. The move comes as Boeing is expected to revise the cost of these helicopters after March 31.The $2.5 billion deal was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the then defence minister Arun Jaitley last August.
South Block sources said the acquisition is being negotiated for the past five years with Boeing holding to the agreed price till March 31. "The manufacturer had extended the agreed price to March after the October 2014 deadline expired. If Boeing decides to revise prices of both Chinook and Apache after the new deadline, the deal will have to be re-tendered and re-negotiated. This concern has been conveyed to the highest level in the government," said a senior official.
Government sources said even though the Narendra Modi government was keen to acquire the helicopters, the deal has been hanging fire as the defence ministry lacks capital funds.
The delay took place despite the manufacturer dropping the contentious limited liability clause at the instance of Indian negotiators.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has four heavy-lift Mi-26 helicopters based in Chandigarh and two squadrons of Mi-35 attack helicopters based in Suratgarh and Pathankot acquired from Russia in 1980s. The Boeing Chinook-47D and Apache-64 D with Hellfire missiles in its arsenal are far superior to their Russian counterparts both in terms of technology and lethality.