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Boeing bulllish on Chinook winning Indian competition

Boeing is confident that the CH-47F Chinook will win India's competition for 15 heavy lift helicopters.

Flight trials for the CH-47F and the Russian Mil Mi-26 have been completed and offset proposals have been submitted to India's ministry of defence, says Boeing. The comments were made by Boeing executives at India's Defexpo 2012 show in New Delhi.

They say the CH-47F has met all technical requirements and that the next step is likely to be the opening of commercial bids, which could occur in May.

© Boeing

The request for proposal (RFP) suggests that the first aircraft will need to be delivered to the Indian army within three years of the contract signing. Following this, all 15 helicopters will need to be delivered within one year. The RFP placed great emphasis on the lifecycle costs involved in operating the two helicopters.

Boeing says it is currently producing five Chinooks per month at its Philadelphia factory.

The CH-47F and Mi-26 are radically different helicopters. The Chinook uses a tandem rotor layout compared with the Mi-26's conventional helicopter layout with a main and tail rotor.

The Mi-26 is much larger, with a maximum take off weight of 56,000kg (123,000lb) compared with the Chinook's maximum gross weight of 22,668kg.

The Chinook, however, can be transported in the hold of the C-17 Globemaster III, of which India has ordered 10 examples. Boeing says this greatly enhances the CH-47F's ability to be deployed to distant locations.

They note that the CH-47F used in the India flight trials flew into India aboard a C-17 and was able to conduct a flight just hours after arriving.

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