WASHINGTON ― The U.S. State Department has approved a potential sale of weapons and support equipment for India’s proposed procurement of six AH-64E Apache helicopters.
The proposed package, which would be done as a Direct Commercial Sale as opposed to a Foreign Military Sale, has an estimated cost of $930 million. Estimated costs and quantities of items can change during negotiations, and approval by the State Department is not a guarantee the sale will be completed.
Included in the proposed package are:
- 14 T700-GE-701D engines.
- Four AN/APG-78 fire control radars.
- Four Block III radar electronic units.
- Four AN/APR-48B modernized radar frequency interferometers.
- 180 AGM-114L-3 Longbow Hellfire missiles.
- 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles.
- 200 Stinger Block I-92H missiles.
- Seven Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensors.
- 14 embedded GPS inertial navigation systems.
Also included are “rockets, training and dummy missiles, 30mm cannons and ammunition, transponders, simulators, communication equipment, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, support equipment, repair and return support, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation,” per the announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Longbow Limited Liability Corporation and Raytheon.
Under the Trump administration, there has been an interest in allowing greater use of Direct Commercial Sales ― where the country and company can directly negotiate ― over Foreign Military Sales, where the U.S. government acts as a go-between for a limited fee.
Industry has argued in the past that DCS is more efficient than FMS.
Notably, this is the first potential foreign weapon sale for India since the Pentagon renamed U.S. Pacific Command to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, a move meant to show the increased importance of American ties with India.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.