Although it’s been talked about for a while now, the IAF announced on 05OCT12 that it would be procuring 22 Apache Block III attack helicopters from the US in a deal worth USD 1.4 billion.
“We are going to contract for Apache and these will be paid for by the IAF, flown by the IAF, and maintained by the IAF” said IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne.
After last year’s reporting of Russia losing the tender for its MI-28NE, most analysts had already concluded that Boeing’s Apache were the primary contenders left in the race. In a report by India Strategic, among others, Lt Gen B S Pawar (Retd) was quoted as favoring the Apache due to its time-tested performance in the Gulf War and Afghanistan as well as for its advanced capabilities. Some even had already speculated that many in the MoD had placed a higher preference on the Apache versus its Russian counterpart:
According to Shiv Aroor’s blog, Live Fist, “IAF sources said the the trial team marked the Apache consistently over the Russian contender in trials that were held mid-2010 at a desert air base in Western India and the world’s highest airfield, Leh, in the Himalayas.”
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