India and the US have concluded defence deals worth over US$3 billion for 24 MH-60R Seahawk multi-role helicopters for the Indian Navy and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army.
The deal was in conjunction with wider talks between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Today we expanded our defence co-operation with agreements for India to purchase more than US$3 billion of advanced US defence equipment including Apache and MH-60R helicopters, the finest in the world,” President Trump said in his press statement.
“These deals will enhance our joint defence capability as our militaries continue to train and operate together side by side.”
The Seahawk deal is worth approximately $2.2 billion and the six Apaches costing a further $800 million. Six Seahawks are due to be delivered within a year, with the rest to be delivered per an agreed schedule.
“In the last few years, there has been unprecedented growth in the interoperability between our militaries,” Prime Minister Modi said in the joint statement.
This deal comes at a time when Australia is also looking to upgrade its Airbus-made Tiger helicopter fleet and considering Apache and Viper replacements.
Airbus is proposing government savings by upgrading its current 22-strong Tiger helicopters rather replacing the fleet.
Following the RFI under the LAND 4503 program advising of a requirement of 24 helicopters for two operational squadrons and a further five airframes for training, Bell is offering its AH-1Z viper attack helicopter and Boeing Australia has said it will put forward the AH-64E Apache, acquired by India.
Boeing's Apache is a flown by the US, the UK and 15 other countries including now India, as well as other regional partners such as Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.
A Bell spokesperson has previously told Defence Connect that the AH-1Z Viper is the only marinised attack helicopter that offers increases in capability and safety, and a decrease in risk and acquisition and ownership costs due to its unique design features.