The Cabinet Committee on Security approved the purchase of Boeing’s Apache and Chinook helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a deal worth around $2.5 billion which includes 22 Apache attack and 15 heavy lift Chinook helicopters.
- It is the single biggest defence contract signed in the first 16 months of the NDA government.
- Defence ministry to pay 15% of the negotiated value at the time of signing the contract while the balance payments are made in accordance with the delivery schedule.
- The 22 Apache helicopters will replace IAF Mi-35 attack helicopters and will be armed with Hellfire missiles.
- The Chinooks which will replace the IAF ageing Mi-26 fleet will be used for heli-lifting of heavy military equipment.
ABOUT AH-64E APACHE
- Lethal attack helicopter in the world has been in service since 1984 with over 2,100 machines produced. India purchased its latest Block III configuration version.
- It is designed for all kinds of missions equipped with laser and infrared systems for weather, day-night operability and fires the Hellfire missiles besides its arsenal of 70 mm rockets and automatic cannon.
ABOUT CH-47F CHINOOK
- Battle proven machine that has flown countless missions into warzones from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Original Chinook first flew in 1962 and has undergone several upgrades.
- The massive helicopter can carry 6 tons of cargo, including heavy machinery, artillery guns and even light armoured vehicles to high altitude.
These helicopters are likely to be delivered within five years. The first helicopter is expected to enter the IAF within three years.