Unless India’s prime minister Modi or the US Congress stops it, India is buying 22 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from US manufacturer Boeing. The Defence Ministry has sent its final request to the PM’s office earlier this week.
The deal, worth more than 3 billion US dollars, foresees in options for another 11 Apaches and 4 Chinooks. By accepting the American offer, India continues to field a mix of Russian and Western made helicopters, after striking a deal earlier this month with Russia for the local Indian production of the Ka-226T.
Russian Helicopters was hoping to sell more Mil Mi-26 ultra-heavy lift helicopters, of which the Indian Air Force already operates three. The twenty Air Force Mil Mi-35 Hinds in service might either be supplemented or replaced by the Apache.
The Indian Army Air Corps also has a small attack helicopter fleet, but only from indigenous Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The 20 HAL Rudra of the IAAC are to be suplemented by another 20 plus the future HAL Light Combat Helicopter currently in prototype testing phase.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): A US Army AH-64D over Baghdad in 2007 (Image © Chief Warrant Officer Daniel McClinton / 1st Air Cavalry Brigade / US Army)