Indian Air Force to get more firepower as Chinook and Apache helicopters will be flying in the Indian Skies this year

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New Delhi | Published: January 2, 2019 10:19:39 PM

India will start taking deliveries of the Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and Chinook CH 47F (I) helicopters, to be delivered March and July onwards respectively this year.

Indian Air Force, Chinook, Apache helicopters, Foreign Military, Indian Air Force, Indian Army Artillery, Tata BoeingThe helicopters coming through the Foreign Military (FMS) route was inked in 2015 worth billion for 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift machines. (Poto source: Boeing website)

India will start taking deliveries of the Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and Chinook CH 47F (I) helicopters, to be delivered March and July onwards respectively this year. The delivery of Apache helicopters by the company will start in July and will be completed by March 2020 and the delivery of the Chinooks which starts in March this year too is expected to be completed by March 2020. These helicopters are important milestones towards strengthening Indian armed forces capabilities as they will be replacing the ageing helicopters in the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The helicopters coming through the Foreign Military (FMS) route was inked in 2015 worth $3 billion for 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache Longbow attack Helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift machines. There is an inbuilt clause for follow-on orders for 11 more Apaches and seven Chinooks.

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The helicopters made in the US will be coming to India in semi knocked down (SKD) condition and will be reassembled in India, and re-tested before being formally sent to their base in Chandigarh. Infrastructure for the helicopters has already been set up which includes two hangars and a maintenance area as well as logistical and technical facilities.

As has been reported earlier, the first Chinook airframe manufactured for the Indian Air Force was tested in the US in July 2018, followed by training of the pilots and four engineers in Delaware for conversion training on Chinooks.

According to the company website Chinooks have a payload capacity of about 10 tonne and is expected to provide much-needed strength to the IAF heavy-lift capability. These helicopters are expected to lift artillery, vehicles, road construction and engineer equipment as well as troops and supplies to mountainous sectors in North and North-East.

Indian industry partners such as Dynamatics are building large sections of Chinook, and the Tata Boeing joint venture in Hyderabad is building the complete fuselage of the Apache.

What is Chinook Helicopter?

According to the company website, the CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter operated by the US Army and 18 other defense forces. It has the proven ability to operate in different terrains and conditions.

It has the capability to airlift the M777 lightweight howitzers that have been inducted in the Indian Army’s Artillery last year.

Why Apache Helicopters?

This is the first time India will have a total attack helicopter and the version coming to India is the latest. The attack helicopters will come with 30mm cannon, which can fire 1200 rounds in less than two minutes.

There will be 70 mm rockets which can be guided or unguided. The machines can carry 80 of them in one go besides the Hellfire missiles.

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