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July 19, 2013

Army to have Apache attack choppers in Mountain Strike Corps

The mountain strike corps sanctioned for the Army for deployment along the China border will have an aviation brigade that may include the Apache attack choppers.

The corps was sanctioned by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) yesterday at a cost of Rs 65,000 crore and would involve raising of around 50,000 troops for it.

The new corps may have the Apache attack choppers as the Defence Ministry has given permission to the Army for having a separate case for procuring the American-manufactured helicopters, sources told PTI here.

The Army and the IAF were engaged in a tussle for control over the attack helicopter fleet in which the government decided in favour of the former.

The two forces then contested for the 22 Apache attack choppers being procured from the US by the IAF but the Defence Ministry decided that they would remain with the IAF and the future assets would be given to the Army.

The government has given permission to the Army for pursuing a separate Foreign Military Sales-route procurement on the issue, they said.

Under the plans, the new strike corps will have two Mountain Infantry divisions including around 18 infantry battalions along with independent brigades of artillery, air defence and elements of combat engineers and mechanised forces.

The corps will take around six years to be raised along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and new formations would be raised from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

Economic Times

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