|US ARMY PHOTO|
Half a century after the Indian Air Force last operated U.S.-built helicopters, it's about to happen again. India will push through deals for 22 Boeing Apache Block IIIs and 15 CH-47F Chinooks this month, a little under two years after the two American choppers beat out Russian rivals in two separate Indian Air Force competitions. That's amazingly swift by Indian procurement standards. The Indian MoD's Defence Acquisition Council will meet for the first time under India's new government on July 19, where both deals are expected to be signed off on and moved up for final clearance from the Union Cabinet.
Two reports today confirm in Mail Today and Times Of India that the two deals are final and are primed for signing.
The Apache beat out the Russian Mi-28NE, while the Chinook defeated the Mi-26T. They won't be the first American-built choppers in Indian military service though -- the Indian Navy received six UH-3H Sea King choppers along with the erstwhile USS Trenton (now INS Jalashwa) in 2007. The first US-built chopper with the Indian armed forces was the Sikorsky S-55 in the fifties.