July 30 (UPI) -- Boeing and India recently completed the first flights of Apache and Chinook helicopters scheduled for delivery next year to the Indian Air Force.
India is purchasing 22 AH-64E Apache attack and 15 CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters from Boeing, with the announcement of the first flights of each a major step forward, the company said.
The acquisition is part of India's efforts to modernize their helicopter fleet, which is still heavily reliant on aging Russian attack and heavy lift helicopters.
"We look forward to delivering this phenomenal capability to India," David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift, said in a press release. "From coastal operations to high-altitude mountainous missions, these aircraft will play vital roles with the Indian armed forces."
The CH-47F Chinook is a twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift transport helicopter used by the U.S. Army and many NATO and allied nations. Its primary mission is to transport troops and large payloads at high speed and long ranges.
It is capable of external sling-load operations, placing artillery, battlefield resupply and air assault operations. The CH-47 Chinook series has been in use since its introduction in 1962 and has been upgraded and refurbished many times.
The AH-64 attack helicopter is an advanced U.S. Army model that has been exported across the world. It features armor, advanced targeting systems, and can carry a large variety of weapons ranging from Hellfire missiles and unguided rockets to air-to-air-missiles.
It also has a rotating 30mm cannon that can fire armor-piercing and high-explosive anti-personnel ammunition. The Apache has seen extensive service in Iraq and Afghanistan.