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US beats Russia to India chopper gunship deal – paper

MOSCOW, Aug. 21 — U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has won a US$ 1.4 billion deal to supply India with 22 helicopter gunships, beating off competition from Russia's Mil Mi-28, the Times of India reported Tuesday.

Only the Boeing AH-64 could meet all the Indian armed forces' air staff qualitative requirements, the paper said.

"It's just a matter of time before the contract is inked for the Apaches after final commercial negotiations. Most of the hurdles have been cleared," a defense ministry official told the paper.

The deal will also include advanced AN/APG-78 fire control radars for the Apaches as well as Hellfire anti-tank and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.

Russia is also facing stiff U.S. competition in a tender to supply 15 heavy-lift helicopters to the Indian forces. Russia is offering its Mil Mi-26, the world's largest rotary-wing machine, while Boeing is proposing its veteran CH-47 Chinook.

India, traditionally one of Russia's core customers for arms, has placed several large defense orders with the United States this year, including a US$ 4.1 billion contract for 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlifters, US$ 2.1 billion for eight P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and US$ 962 million for six C-130J transport aircraft. (PNA/RIA Novosti)

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