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Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 29 September: UNITED States headquartered manufacturing giant Boeing has clinched a deal to supply 37 Apache and Chinook helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF), Boeing said in an official statement on Tuesday.

The deal includes production, training and support for 22 Apache attack helicopters of the latest AH-64E variant and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters of CH-47F model. Chinook is used in transporting heavy artilleries and rations to defence bases in international borders that are called forward areas in the defence parlance.

On being delivered, the Apache and Chinook helicopters are expected to enhance India’s capabilities across a range of military and humanitarian missions.

Commenting on the deal, Boeing India president Pratyush Kumar said: “This acquisition enhances IAF’s capabilities and offers us an opportunity to further accelerate the Make in India. Large sections of the Chinook fuselage are already manufactured in India and discussions are on with our Indian partners to make (the) Apache parts (as well).”

Apache is the world’s leading multi-role attack helicopter and its latest variant AH-64E is in use by the United States Army. The aircraft features joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.

Chinook CH-47F, on the other hand, is an advanced multi-mission helicopter operated not only by the US Army but another 18 other defence forces across the globe. “It has ability to operate in the range of conditions that typify the Indian subcontinent, including delivering heavy payloads to high altitudes,” the Boeing statement reads.