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US's Apache performed better than Russia's Mi-28N: IAF reports

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Russia's Mi-28N (Left) and America's Apache 64D combat helicopter.

NEW DELHI (PTI): USA's Apache 64D combat helicopter has performed better than its Russian rival Mi-28N in field evaluation trials for the 22 attack choppers tender of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and a final decision by the Government is expected to be taken soon.

The IAF had recently submitted the report of the field evaluation trials to the Defence Ministry for a final decision in the deal to procure these attack choppers for augmenting and replacing its existing fleet of Russian-origin Mi-35 and Mi-25 copters.

The Apache performed better than the Mi-28N in the trials and the Defence Ministry is likely to take a final decision on the deal where only these two companies were in the fray, defence sources said here.

The Defence Ministry will now look into several aspects such as the offsets and technical proposals of the contract before taking a final decision on the contract.

The IAF had reissued a global tender for procuring these choppers in 2009 to four companies including the American Boeing and Bell, Russian Rosoboronexport, European AgustaWestland and Eurocopter.

Both the European companies had decided against taking part in the deal.

Interestingly, Boeing had first opted out of the race as the previous tender did not allow it to offer its chopper through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.

Later, the tender was scrapped and a fresh bid was issued allowing the US companies to take part in it and offer their machines through FMS route also.

Under the FMS route, the US sells its military hardware through government-to-government deals only.

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