Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots have commenced training to fly the CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters that will be delivered by Boeing.
Under a $3.1bn deal, Boeing will provide 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, as well as 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. The contract also requires the US firm to provide aircraft training and support to the IAF.
Four pilots and four flight engineers are currently training on Chinook helicopters in Delaware, US.
The Chinook helicopters, which are operated by 19 defence forces worldwide, will assist the IAF in carrying out disaster relief and rescue operations, as well as transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel.
Deliveries of the helicopters are expected to commence next year, which will be followed by their induction into the IAF.
Boeing has already completed the first flights of Apache and Chinook helicopters that are intended for delivery in 2019.
At the time, Boeing Vertical Lift vice-president and general manager David Koopersmith said: “We look forward to delivering this phenomenal capability to India. From coastal operations to high-altitude mountainous missions, these aircraft will play vital roles with the Indian Armed Forces.”
The contract, which includes a provision to buy 11 more Apaches and seven additional Chinooks, will see the US Government provide weapons, radars and electronic warfare suites.
Additionally, a 30% offset clause in the contract is expected to bring the Indian defence industry business worth approximately $1bn.