Boeing has officially handed over the first Chinook transport helicopter to India at its facility in Philadelphia, US.
The helicopter was delivered in the presence of Indian ambassador to US Harsh Shringla during the ‘India-Chinook Transfer Ceremony’. The Indian Embassy in the US confirmed the development on its Twitter account.
The delivery is part of a $3.1bn contract signed by India with Boeing in 2015 for the procurement of 22 AH-64E Apache attack, and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook transport helicopters.
India is expected to receive all of the AH-64E and CH-47F(I) helicopters this year.
The helicopters are expected to help modernise the Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet.
The Chinook is a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter used to move troops, artillery, ammunition, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield.
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In service with the US Army and 18 other defence forces, the helicopter can also be deployed in support of secondary missions, including medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, firefighting, and civil development.
According to Boeing, the AH-64E Apache is designed to offer enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.
Under the contract, India can choose to buy 11 more Apaches and seven additional Chinooks. The US Government will provide weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites as part of the deal.
In July last year, the Apache and Chinook helicopters meant for delivery to India completed their maiden flights.
Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots underwent training in Delaware, US, in October to fly the CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.