May 25, 2012
Credit: Apache photo: Boeing
Boeing is in negotiations to sell its Apache AH-64D multi-role combat helicopter to the Indian air force (IAF) and expects a final decision by the end of 2012, a senior Boeing Defense, Space and Security (BDS) official says.
“We feel very positive about the deal … and we probably will get to a decision point by the end of the year,” Mark Kronenberg, vice president of international business development for BDS, tells Aviation Week. Financial details were not disclosed.
The IAF is seeking 22 heavy attack helicopters, and it is understood to have selected Boeing’s Apache as the preferred choice over Russia’s Mi-28N Night Hunter.
Boeing had submitted proposals for Apache in 2009. But the IAF has yet to announce the winner, though Russia, which had fielded the Mi-28, announced late last year that it was out of the race after failing to meet several of the IAF’s technical requirements.
The Apache has successfully conducted trials, including radar and weapon firing demonstrations, Kronenberg says.
According to Boeing, delivery of the helos will depend on the IAF’s specific requirements. According to the request for proposals, deliveries should start within 36 months of the contract’s signing.
The next-generation version of the original AH-64A Apache, the multi-mission AH-64D has two high-performance turboshaft engines and can cruise at a maximum speed of 284 kph. The attack helo also has laser, infrared, and other systems (including a target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor) to locate, track, and attack targets.
The aircraft carries a combination of laser-guided Hellfire missiles, 70mm rockets and a 30mm automatic cannon loaded with up to 1,200 high-explosive, dual-purpose ammunition rounds.
Another Boeing official says the Apache proposal is an integrated program that includes both direct commercial and foreign military sales components. The Boeing proposal also includes offset elements and firm, fixed-cost pricing.