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Boeing wins another billion-dollar-plus Indian military contract

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Nov. 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
November 6, 2012 2:53 pm

Boeing, which has won a string of competitive victories against other multi-national defense contractors for Indian military business in recent times, has added another contract to its string.

Defense News is reporting that Boeing has won a $1.4 billion contract to furnish India with 15 CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters. Boeing had been competing against Russian military contractors who had proposed furnishing India with Mi-26 helicopters.

Boeing Chinook
Boeing CH-47E Chinook

India traditionally has been a major customer of Russian defense contractors, but in recent years it has favored the West, particularly Boeing. The helicopters that Boeing will replace are Russian Mi-26 machines, many of which are reportedly out of service because of age and a lack of spare parts.

The CH-47 is built by Boeing’s helicopter division in Pennsylvania. The original versions of the CH-47 were developed in the ’60s. The twin-rotor helicopter has been regularly updated for more than 40 years.

The CH-47 is considerably smaller than the huge Mi-26, the world’s largest production helicopter.

Some reports indicate one problem India had with the Russian bid was its failure to provide offsetting work in India to compensate for Indian funds being spent for helicopter construction being done in Russia.

Boeing recently won an Indian contract for 22 Apache attack helicopters. Russia had proposed selling India its Mi-26 attack helicopter. Boeing also won a competition to furnish India with its C-17 military transport aircraft. The 10 transports will be built in Boeing’s Long Beach, Calif., plant. That contract is worth $4.1 billion.

India has also ordered Boeing’s P-8I submarine hunting patrol planes. Those planes are militarized versions of Boeing’s 737 airliner. Those aircraft are being built in Boeing’s Renton plant.

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