says it optimistic about finalizing deals with the Indian government for the sale of AH-64 Apache attack and Chinook transport helicopters this year.
Leanne Caret, vice president of vertical lift at Boeing Defense, told Aviation Week’s ShowNews that the company was working through the terms and conditions set by the Indian ministry of defense and had managed to hold the same contract prices on both aircraft for the last four years.
“We hope to have a Chinook contract in the first half of 2014 and an Apache deal in the second half,” Caret said. The company replied to a request for new transport helicopters in 2009, while the attack helicopter program was announced in 2010. India is planning to purchase 22 AH-64E Apaches and up to 15 CH-47F Chinooks.
According to Caret, the Indian Chinooks will be in a different configuration than standard U.S. Army Chinooks and will require some flight testing at the company’s facility in Mesa, Ariz. Canada’s CH-147Fs and the U.K.’s new Chinook Mk. 6s also required similar testing because of their different configurations.
Meanwhile, the company has delivered nearly 90 AH-64E Apaches, with the 100th aircraft expected to be delivered during the spring. Aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Army, which will later this year make the type’s first operational deployment to Afghanistan. They have also been delivered to the Taiwanese army and a second overseas customer, believed to be the Saudi Arabian Royal Guard. Other nations buying the AH-64E include South Korea and Indonesia.
The company is also making progress on the development of the AH-6i, and will work with the U.S. Army later this year to conduct certification testing in readiness for production. The first customer is believed to be the Saudi Arabian National Guard.