Indian Air Force Orders AH-64E and CH-47F Helicopters

After several years of deliberations, India has finally placed orders for 22 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for operation by the Indian Air Force. Indian Defence Ministry and Boeing officials signed the contracts on September 28. This followed a decision at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on September 21 giving final clearance to go ahead.

The Chinooks are being bought in fly-away condition through a direct commercial sale with Boeing, while a similar deal for the AH-64Es, less engines but including spares, logistics support and services, was also signed. A separate Letter of Agreement covered all of the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) portion of the Apache acquisition, including electro-optical sensors, radar, weapons, training and aircraft certification.

The contracts stipulate that Boeing is to begin deliveries of both types within 36 months of the deal being signed and that all 37 helicopters must be delivered within 48 months. The contract also includes options for eleven more Apaches and seven Chinooks. Boeing is also to provide offset work in India to the value of 30% of the contract price.

Boeing had been in competition with Russia’s Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter for the attack helicopter requirement, but the AH-64E was selected as the preferred option on August 21, 2012. The CH-47F had been competing against an upgraded variant of the Mi-26 Halo, which is already in Indian service. The CH-47F was chosen as the winner on December 5, 2012. Because of the time elapsed since then, Boeing had an numerous occasions extended the time limit on the price it was offering, in accordance with requests from India for more time to consider the proposals. Alan Warnes