July 10 (UPI) -- Boeing Co. announced the completion on Friday of its delivery of 22 AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47 Chinook helicopters to the India Air Force.
The final five Apache helicopters were handed over to the IAF at Air Force Station Hindan on Friday, a Boeing statement said. In March, Boeing handed over the last five Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
The deal between Boeing and the Indian Defense Ministry was finalized in 2015, and in 2016 India was designated a "major defense partner" by the United States.
Bilateral defense trade between the two countries reached $18 billion in 2019, and a contract with Indian defense contractor Tata includes the manufacture of Apache airframes in India for Boeing customers around the world, including the U.S. Army. Six more Apaches were ordered when President Donald Trump visited India this year.
"With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India's defense forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs," Surendra Ahuja of Boeing Defense India said in a statement.
India is one of 20 countries with tandem-rotor Chinook helicopters in their fleet or on order. India's armed forces conduct numerous weather-related disaster and humanitarian missions, making the Chinook a valuable asset, according to officials.
Seventeen nations fly Apache helicopters.
Completion of the order comes as India and neighboring China are involved in a tense border standoff.
Some of the new Boeing helicopters have already been deployed to the Line of Actual Control, the demarcation line in the Himalayan Mountains separating Indian-controlled territory from that of China.