United States and India have built up a solid rapport in the past few years, ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power at the centre. The diplomatic ties between the two countries have reached an all time high and the Indian government has succeeded in pursuing the Donald Trump led US government to put pressure on Pakistan. A huge cut on the monetary aids supplied to Pakistan combined with reduction on defense aids have already taken place in recent years. India and US relations have greatly improved which is evident from the way in which US officials have started dealing with their Indian counterparts. Going ahead with this, the US State Department on Tuesday, the 12th of June, approved the sale of six Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters to India. India had requested the US for sale of the attack helicopters some time back. The State Department’s approval signifies that the US is looking forward to boosting its ties with India.
Apache helicopters are the primary attack helicopters of multiple nations like Israel, United Arab Emirates and others along with the Untied States. Apache helicopters are known for their trustworthiness and have proved very helpful in many operations conducted by US Army around the globe. The primary attack helicopters have great power and can be used both at day and night. They will increase the capacity of the Indian Army to attack and conduct operations in a given area. Along with the Apache Helicopters, the US State Department has also agreed to the sale of four AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars, 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles, 200 Stinger Block I-92H missiles, Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Systems, 30mm cannons, transponders, simulators, training equipment to India. The total cost of this deal would be around $930 million. Apache helicopters are made by the Boeing company which has recently partnered with TATA to manufacture helicopters in India.
US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in a news release has said that the deal will improve the strategic ties between the two countries and will ‘improve the security of an ally which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South Asia.’ The press release clarifies that the US is looking forward to improvingf ties between the two countries and is not going to fall shy of fulfilling the demands of its ally. The statement by Defense Security Cooperation Agency also shows that the US now realizes the importance of India in maintaining political stability and peace in the South Asia region.
While the release highlights that the sale would not affect the military balance in South Asia, many neighboring countries will have concerns about the aforementioned sale of Apache helicopters to India. Despite what the official press release says, there is an undertone that the US authorities have decided to give the green signal to the sale notwithstanding the imbalance which will ensue. India will gain an upper hand with the possession of these Apache helicopters and other armament; the United States believes that the balance tilting in favour of India is not a problem for them. This move by the United States will also send a very clear message to Pakistan and China, while India and its Army get one more reason to rejoice.
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