The upcoming U.S. visit of defence minister Manohar Parrikar will see him inspecting Boeing's Philadelphia facility that manufactures CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopters.
India has already cleared the decks for the acquisition of 15 CH-47F Chinook helicopters along with 22 AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters. The order is said to cost India, $3.1-billion.
The Chinook is operational with 18 countries. The CH-47F Chinook is the newest model in the family and it is a multi-mission helicopter, which is known to perform in a variety of conditions. It can carry heavy payloads to high altitudes. India happens to be the nineteenth country to select the Chinook.
The Chinook will be replacing India's Soviet-era transport helicopters, Mi-26. Chinook was selected after a due process in which it unseated its contender Mi-26 heavy-lift choppers.
Parrikar is on a three-day U.S. visit where he will be signing a foundational agreement called the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which will allow the two countries to make use of each other's bases for supplies, servicing and refuelling.
Parrikar is expected to tour the facility and see for himself the manufacturing of Chinooks for India. Indian Air Force will start getting these helicopters from March 2019.
Apart from the primary mission of moving troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield, in the secondary role, its missions include medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development.