The first four of 15 Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters for the Indian Air Force arrived in India ahead of their scheduled arrival in March.
They will be assembled in Gujarat before being ferried to Chandigarh, where they will be formally inducted into the IAF later this year. At Chandigarh, the helicopters will become a part of the 126 Helicopter Flight, which currently operates the last of the Mi-26 heavy lift helicopters, Economic Times reported Sunday.
India had cleared the purchase of 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook helicopters for the IAF in a deal worth $2.5 billion from the US in 2015. The defence ministry had also finalised its order with Boeing for the production, training and support of the helicopters. IAF crews had begun their training on the Chinooks at Delaware in the US last year. Earlier this month, the first Chinook helicopter was handed over to the IAF in Philadelphia.
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India has invited expressions of interest for 111 helicopters to be made in the country in collaboration with foreign partners, the defence ministry said, in a deal estimated at nearly Rs 21,738 crore ($3 billion). Lockheed Martin, Airbus Helicopters and Bell Helicopters are among those expected to participate in the bidding, the ministry statement said
The Indian Air Force is in talks with Russia for an urgent procurement of 21 MiG 29 fighter aircraft in a contract valued at INR 6,000 Crore ($847 million). The jets are required to be delivered at a short notice as India has been facing acute shortage of combat aircraft
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