In a major boost for the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force, Boeing Sunday delivered the first batch of four Chinook helicopters to India which has procured 15 of these helicopters from the United States.
The multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter was delivered at the Mudra port in Gujarat after it was initially handed over to the Indian authorities in the United States earlier this week. They will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force later this year.
The company had delivered the helicopter in the presence of Indian ambassador to the US Harsh Shringla during the ‘India-Chinook Transfer Ceremony’. The helicopter will be used by the Air Force to move and transport troops, cargo, artillery, ammunition supplies and equipments across the length and breadth of the country. The procurement of the machine is in line with modernisation push of its helicopter fleet by the Indian Air Force.
“The CH-47F (I) Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions. The Indian Air Force currently has 15 Chinook helicopters on order,” the company said in a statement.
“Boeing has strengthened its supply chain with over 160 partners in India, and a JV to manufacture fuselages for Apache helicopters. Annual sourcing from India stands at $1 billion,” it added.
“Indian industry partners such as Dynamatics are building large sections of Chinook, and the Tata Boeing joint venture in Hyderabad is building the complete fuselage of the Apache,” Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar had said in a statement late last year. The government had finalised the contract for IAF’s 22 Apaches and 15 Chinooks in September 2015.
Additionally, the defence ministry last year approved the procurement of six Apache helicopters along with weapons systems from Boeing at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore for the Army. This will be its first fleet of attack choppers. Fuselages for this Army order will be produced by Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited, a joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems in Hyderabad. The AH-64E Apache is a leading multi-role attack helicopter and is flown by the US Army.
Its latest features include joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding, said a Boeing official. The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transport of troops, artillery, equipment and fuel.