US & Canada

US to sell helicopters to Indonesia in $500m deal

A AH-64 Apache helicopter fires flares during a performance in Poland on 24 August 2013
Image caption With the helicopter sale, the US says it wants to help build Indonesia's military capability

The US has agreed for the first time to sell new AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to Indonesia, US officials say.

The deal is worth $500m (£320m), including radar, training and maintenance.

Indonesia will purchase eight new Apache helicopters, made by Boeing.

The deal was announced during a visit by US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is on a tour of South East Asia, to Jakarta.

"Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia's military capability," he said in a statement.

The deal will help Indonesia respond to "a range of contingencies including counter-piracy operations and maritime awareness", it said.

The US has recently stepped up its diplomatic efforts in East Asia in order to establish a strong presence there in the face of advances by China, correspondents say.

More on this story