Boeing and India recently took a significant step toward modernizing the Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet by completing the first flights of Apache and Chinook helicopters destined for delivery next year.
“We look forward to delivering this phenomenal capability to India,” said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift. “From coastal operations to high-altitude mountainous missions, these aircraft will play vital roles with the Indian armed forces.”
India ultimately will receive 22 AH-64E Apache attack, and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook transport, helicopters.
The Chinook fleet will replace the ageing fleet of Mil-26 heavy lift helicopters operated by Indian Air Force.
Tata Boeing Aerospace (TBAL), a joint venture between Boeing and India's Tata Advanced Systems (TASL) is the sole global producer of fuselages for AH-64 Apache helicopter delivered by Boeing to its global customers including the U.S. Army. The facility also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes of this multi-role combat helicopter. The first fuselage was delivered in 2018.
More than 2,300 Boeing-made Apache helicopters are operated by customers around the world since the aircraft entered production.
The United States Army Apache fleet alone has accumulated more than 4.3 million flight hours, including more than 1.2 million in combat, as of January 2018. The helicopter has been fielded or selected for acquisition by the armed forces of 16 countries, including India.