The United States’ policy toward India in strategic military scale has been bolstered with the delivery of Boeing’s top of line helicopters Chinook and Apache to India, which was completed last month, according to a statement by Boeing.
In September 2015, India struck a deal with the U.S. worth $3 billion, which included 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and 15 CH-47F (I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, and a clause for future orders. Delivery of those 37 helicopters is now complete.
The deal was done through FMS (Foreign Military Sales) route between the Indian and U.S. governments with the expected completion of deliveries stated in March to April 2020. Earlier this year, India also signed another deal with the U.S. for six additional Apache helicopters.
The Chinook CH-47F(I) is used by 20 countries, and the Apache AH-64 is used by 17 countries. Deemed as the most advanced variants of their series, both the Chinook and Apache helicopters chosen by India involve a high end of sophisticated technology in upgrades by Boeing.
India chose the Apache’s AH-64E variant called Guardian which features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, an advanced fire control radar longbow and capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), full IFR capability, and improved landing gear with new composite rotor blades with that Apache has an armament of one 30mm M230 chain gun with 1200 round plus the capability to fire stinger and hellfire missiles in salvo configuration.
The Apache AH-64E is currently famed as the most advanced Apache variant, and is the most lethal helicopter in India’s fleet.
India’s selection of Chinook and Apache helicopters bolsters the Indian force’s ability to conduct strategic airlifts in harsh mountain conditions, and an unmatched capability in transporting weapons to strategic bases on short notice.
Chinook’s CH-47F variant has an improved Honeywell engine with 4,733 horsepower, reduced structural vibration and increased service life. The Chinook can carry more than 10 tons of payload at full capacity and can fly at a speed of 175mph. This variant has installed new avionics include a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and BAE Systems’ Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS) to increase the sight and operating capabilities of Chinook.
Recently, several Apaches and Chinooks were deployed in the forward base near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) bordering China amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese forces in the Ladakh region.