|Boeing AH-64. Photo by Ernie Stephens|
Reuters is reporting that India is nearing a deal to acquire AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters from Boeing. The deal, believed to be worth $2.5 billion, will give Prime Minister Narendra Modi more military resources to “meet the challenges posed by China and Pakistan."
The 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift tandem rotorcraft listed in the agreement will be operated by the Indian Air Force, helping to change its fleet over from predominately Russian-made helicopters to those from other nations.
U.S. and Indian officials are pleased with the deal, seeing it as a way towards mending diplomatic disputes between Washington and New Delhi.
India’s navy has also received approval to purchase 16 multi-role helicopters from a yet-to-be decided manufacturer. In addition, it canceled a plan to purchase 197 light-utility helicopters from foreign vendors, seeking instead to acquire them from one or more domestic manufacturers.
The first Chinooks entered service with the U.S. Army in 1962, with the first Apache being delivered in 1984. Since their introductions, both designs have been exported to other countries, including Egypt, Great Britain, Israel, and Japan.