Choppers, Tanks, Artillery: Major Indian Arms Deals Likely To Be Cleared Tomorrow

PHOTO /Staff Sgt. Ryan Matson
A handful of high-value defence deals, delayed over the cusp of government change in the country, are likely to come up -- and be cleared -- by India's Defence Ministry tomorrow. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meets with a substantial agenda list, that includes deals for 22 Boeing Apache attacks choppers and 15 Boeing Chinook heavy rotorcraft, both deals concluded months ago, but drifting during the change of government.

Additionally, the DAC tomorrow, chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, will likely clear a chunky deal to medium refit six of the Indian Navy's remaining nine Kilo-class attack submarines with new sonars on three of those, a follow-on deal for 118 indigenous Arjun Mk.2 tanks and 40 Arjun Catapult self-propelled artillery systems.

Significantly, the meeting will also see the Indian Army make a presentation on the all-but-stuck light helicopter competition that's remained adrift for over two years now. The competition for 197 light multirole choppers for the Army and IAF is a fight between Airbus Helicopter and Kamov. Stuck after the AgustaWestland  investigations threw up evidence that an earlier iteration of the light copter competition may have been compromised, the Army is expected to present forward movement on the contract and push for an early call at the Defence Minister's level based on fresh guidelines.

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