IAF to buy 22 heavy-duty Apache copters at $1.4 bn
"The Apache helicopters deal has been finalised and it would be flown, maintained and paid for by the IAF,” said chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.
"The bids for the heavy-lift helicopters were opened a few weeks ago and the IAF is currently evaluating the life cycle costing for 15 of these machines, " Browne added.
Both the US and Russia are locked in a battle to supply 15 heavy-lift helicopters to IAF, with the Boeing-manufactured CH-47 Chinooks slugging it out against the Russian Mi-26 choppers.
These 15 helicopters will replace IAF's Russian Mi-26 helicopters, of which just three to four remain serviceable, Browne said.
"The bids for the mid-air tanker competition were opened on Thursday, and the life cycle costs will be evaluated first."
The $2-billion contract for procuring six mid-air refuelling tanker planes has Russian-origin Ilyushin-78 and European A-330 MRTT in the race
"By the end of the 13th five-year plan, almost 75 % of the IAF would have been modernised," he said when asked if the current economic slowdown has affected the force's modernisation plans.
The IAF is also inducting 139 Russian Mi-17 V-5 medium-lift helicopters for an estimated $2.4 billion. The workhorse Mi-17 has
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