India’s Cabinet Committee on Security has approved the purchase of 22 Boeing AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47F Chinook helicopters worth an estimated $2.2 billion.
A formal contract is expected in the next couple of weeks, according to informed sources. Flightglobal understands that deliveries will commence within 36 to 48 months of a deal being signed.
The purchase of the Boeing-built attack and heavy-lift types was cleared by India's Defence Acquisition Council in August 2014.
India will become the fourth international customer for the AH-64E Block III Apache. As per Boeing’s proposal, the platform, spare parts, logistical support and services will be supplied through a direct commercial sale to India.
Munitions and components including engines, electro-optical/infrared sensors, fire control radars – which will not be carried on all of India's Apaches – and training, along with aircraft certification, will be provided via the US government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism.
The Chinooks will be acquired through a direct commercial sale, with no FMS element.
India's original request for proposal contained options for an additional 11 Apaches and seven Chinooks. Both types will be operated by the Indian air force, although the government has mandated that future attack helicopter inductions will be vested with the army.
The Indian air force currently operates a squadron each of Mil Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters, respectively inducted in 1983 and 1990.
As of August 2015, Boeing had delivered approximately 200 AH-64E Apaches and more than 300 CH-47F Chinooks to the US Army and international customers.