The Indian Ministry of Defence has finalized an order with Boeing for 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. The order includes production, training and support of both the helicopters.
The order which is worth around 2.5 billion US dollars, was cleared by the cabinet committee on security on the 22nd of this month just before Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States.
Both aircraft will replace the India air force’s aging Soviet era helicopter fleet, with the Apache replacing the Mil Mi-35 and the Chinook replacing the Mil Mi-26 for heavy lift operations. The signing of the order for these helicopters has been pending since 2013.
The order is expected to be completed within five years, with the first helicopters entering service with the IAF in three years.
India will be the 14th nation to operate the Apache and the 19th nation to operate the Chinook.
Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India
“This is a milestone in Boeing’s expanding commitment to India, This acquisition enhances the Indian Air Force’s capabilities and offers us an opportunity to further accelerate ‘Make in India.’ Large sections of the Chinook fuselage are already manufactured in India and discussions are ongoing with our Indian partners to make Apache parts.”