Boeing’s Chinook CH-47F has been selected for the Indian Air Force (IAF) heavy-lift rotorcraft contract, which is valued at $1bn.
A source close to the deal told Times of India that the company’s proposal, which beat the Russian Mil Mi-26 transport helicopter, was found to be the lowest bidder based on life-cycle costs.
"The commercial negotiations with Boeing are expected to begin shortly and the contract negotiation committee will finalise the deal for the Chinook," the source added.
The IAF plans to operate the heavy-duty helicopters to supply equipment in the northern and north-eastern states.
Boeing’s Chinook CH-47F is expected to replace the existing fleet of Mi-26 choppers that were acquired by the IAF during the Soviet era.
Powered by Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines, the CH-47F Chinook is a heavy-lift, high-altitude helicopter that can be used for a multitude of missions including military, humanitarian, disaster relief, search and rescue and firefighting missions in all climates and conditions.
The purchase forms part of the Indian Armed Forces’ planned acquisition of around 900 helicopters from foreign companies, at an estimated cost of more than INR200bn ($3.7bn) over the next decade.
In addition to 15 heavy-lift helicopters, the intended $3.7bn package may also include for IAF 384 light-utility and observation, 90 naval multi-role, 65 light combat and 139 medium-lift helicopters.
Recently, the IAF had chosen Boeing for the $1.4bn contract to provide 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters against Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant’s Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter.
Image: Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook during a mission. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.