Report: India to buy attack helicopters from Boeing, not Russia
Oct 25, 2011, 12:14 GMT
Moscow - India is expected to purchase new attack helicopters from US aerospace giant Boeing rather than Russia, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the arms acquisition project.
Indian Defence Ministry officials in New Delhi refused to either confirm or deny the report, saying the deal would need more time to be finalized.
India decided to buy AH-64D Apache helicopters instead of Russian Mi-28 Havoc helicopters as part of a planned 2.5-billion-dollar programme to upgrade India's military helicopter fleet, the Interfax report said.
India's military will acquire at least 22 of the American attack helicopters, and an order increase to 44 aircraft is possible, the report added.
Boeing India officials said they could not comment on the report as they had not received any official confirmation of the deal from India's Defence Ministry.
India gave Boeing the nod over Russia's Mikoyan because of the American aircraft was more versatile, the report said, citing an unnamed Indian military official who was present at competitive testing between the Apache and the Havoc in 2010.
'Both aircraft performed exceptionally well, but the American aircraft showed an advantage in key characteristics like the capacity to accept upgrades and multi-role operation,' the official was quoted by the Russian news agency as saying.
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