News / Asia

India Offers to Buy More US Helicopters to Lower Costs

Reuters

India has offered to increase an order for U.S. Apache helicopters to drive down costs as the two sides race to close a $1.4 billion deal, officials said, the first big military contract since a new government took office in New Delhi.

FILE - Visitors look at a AH-64D Apache helicopter during an airshow in Dubai, UAE.FILE - Visitors look at a AH-64D Apache helicopter during an airshow in Dubai, UAE.
x
FILE - Visitors look at a AH-64D Apache helicopter during an airshow in Dubai, UAE.
FILE - Visitors look at a AH-64D Apache helicopter during an airshow in Dubai, UAE.

The Apache gunships and a deal for Chinook helicopters, both built by Boeing, top the agenda for visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's talks on Friday with India's incoming administration led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India and the United States have rapidly expanded military sales in recent years, despite discord in areas such as trade and intellectual property rights.

Washington is keen to further step up defense cooperation with India, which it sees as a key strategic partner in Asia in the face of an increasingly powerful and assertive China.

India has offered a follow-on order of 39 AH-64D Apache helicopters in addition to the 22 now being negotiated, a Defense Ministry official said. The two sides have been wrangling over the price of the gunships in a deal estimated to be worth $1.4 billion.

The initial batch of helicopters is meant to replace the Indian Air Force's ageing fleet of Soviet-era aircraft and will be armed with Hellfire and Stinger missiles.

The Indian army has separately requested a fleet of at least 39 of these attack aircraft, some of which will be deployed as part of a new mountain division it is raising along the disputed border with China, an army official said.

"The point is we are looking at 60-70 pieces eventually, so the expectation is the vendor will factor that in, in the price negotiations," said the defense ministry official, asking not to be named in line with ministry policy.

U.S. defense sales to India have grown from the low hundreds of millions of dollars in the decade to 2008 to more than $9 billion since that year.

According IHS Jane's, a defense research firm, India was the top foreign buyer of U.S. arms last year.

U.S. officials say there is the potential for billions of dollars of new sales in the next few years and are hoping the Modi administration can overcome bureaucratic obstacles that have held up some deals.

The two sides are also in talks to finalize a contract for the Indian Air Force to buy 15 CH-47F Chinooks, a twin-rotor helicopter capable of lifting heavy loads, also valued at $1.4 billion.

Converging interests

Hagel's trip, which will also take him to Australia, is focused on converging U.S. and Indian interests in the Asia-Pacific, the Pentagon said.

It follows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit last week and is part of the build-up to Modi's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington in September aimed at revitalizing ties between the world's two largest democracies.

Hagel will discuss ways to strengthen military cooperation with India including exercises, defense, trade, co-production and co-development, Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby said.

India's Cabinet has just cleared a proposal to allow 49 percent foreign participation in the defense industry, up from a current cap of 26 percent, in a bid to boost local manufacturing and end its decades-long dependence on overseas acquisitions that made it the world's biggest arms importer in recent years.

Some Western manufacturers have been lukewarm about the raising of the cap on defense investment, saying it did not go far enough for them to transfer technology to India. But Lalit Mansingh, an influential former Indian ambassador to the United States who has been pushing for greater ties with Washington, said it was a good start.

"Companies that want 100 percent will wait till the sector is opened up fully, but I am pretty sure there are American companies ready to come in," said Mansingh. "They have been eyeing the market for a while now."

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ali Fisal from: India
August 07, 2014 1:29 PM
we always try to do things on the cheap... where has it gotten us? everything is cheap and squalid here... we are a nation of cheap scumbags.

In Response

by: Thinker from: Earth
August 07, 2014 3:53 PM
Talking about yourself I guess

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid