The United States government approved the sale of six Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to India for a total of $930 million. The contract will now be presented to the U.S. Congress for approval.

The sale also includes 14 T700-GE-701D engines, several spare systems (radars and night vision sensors) and parts as well as ammunitions, weapons, rockets and over 400 missiles including anti-tank Hellfire missiles, anti-air Stinger missiles. The U.S. will also support the maintenance of the vehicles, as well as personnel training.

This contract will help India in developing its “defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernize its armed forces”, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

On March 1, 2018, the joint venture Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) opened its first facility in Hyderabad, India. On June 1, 2018, the first Apache fuselage manufactured in India left the assembly line. However, the six Apaches sold were completely manufactured by U.S. companies, which is why they need approval by Congress before delivery.

Since a cooperation agreement was signed in 2016, the military collaboration between India and the United States is intensifying. The two countries aim at countering the expansionist policy of China on the major trade route in the South China Sea.

India is currently in the process of renewing its fighters fleet. After scrapping an initial import contract for 126 Dassault fighters, the competitors are now Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, facing Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen, and UAC MiG-35. The contract could amount to $15 billion.