US global major aerospace and defence group Boeing has concluded deliveries of helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF), ordered under a September 2015 contract. The order was for 22 AH-64E Apache attack and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy transport helicopters.
The last batch of the helicopters ordered under this contract comprised five Apaches, handed over to the IAF in India on Friday. The last of the Chinooks had been delivered in March. In addition to the manufacture and delivery of the machines, the contract also covered training and support for the aircraft.
“Customer centricity, commitment to the modernisation and mission-readiness of India’s defence forces are key values to our partnership with India,” affirmed Boeing Defence India MD Surendra Ahuja. “With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs.”
Part of that partnership between Boeing and India has been the development of Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL). This was a joint venture between the US group and major Indian industrial group Tata. TBAL produces aerostructures for Apaches for customers around the world, including the US Army.
In addition, the US group has developed a network of more than 200 suppliers and partners in India. For example, Tata Advanced Systems makes crown and tail cone assemblies for Chinook helicopters, while Dynamic technologies manufactures the rear pylons and ramps for the same type.
India is one of 17 countries to operate the Apache, of which the AH-64E is the latest variant. The country ordered a further six of the type earlier this year. The IAF is also one of 20 armed forces around the world to use the Chinook. Again, the CH-47F is the latest mainstream version of the type (there is a more advanced niche model, the specially-adapted MH-47G Block II for US Army Special Operations Aviation Command, which will enter service next year).