The US aerospace major Boeing has indicated its defence business with India is all set to expand in the coming years and confirmed that the Apache AH-64D helicopter is the last contender in the Indian Air Force (IAF) competition for 22 attack helicopters. During the ongoing Singapore Air Show, Boeing also stated that the IAF also plans to acquire six more C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft besides the ten aircraft it has already contracted for. Besides, Boeing is also hopeful that India will exercise the option to go for four P-8 'Poseidon' maritime reconnaissance aircraft as well.
Speaking at the Singapore Air Show, Boeing officials indicated that India holds significant defence business potential and that Boeing expects the Asian region to account for half of its international defense business revenue in the next decade. Boeing has already signed a $ 4.1 billion deal for ten C-17 heavy lift aircraft and is all set to deliver first of the eight maritime patrol airplane Poseidon P8-I from early 2013. The P8-i Poseion is worth $ 2.1 billion. Boeing is positive that the IAF will exercise the option of six more C-17 aircraft for the IAF and expects the Indian Navy to opt for four more P8-I Poseidon soon.
Besides the Boeing heavy-lift aircraft and maritime patrol aircraft, Boeing has also confirmed that its Apache AH-64 D is the last contender for IAF’s contract for 22 attack helicopters. The contract is expected to be signed by mid-2012. The Apache chopper is the sole bidder since Russia's Mil Mi-28 had been eliminated. According to reports, the Russian Mi-28 failed to meet several of the technical requirements of the IAF. Boeing Apache AH-64 D chopper is a highly versatile chopper which can carry high-explosives air-to-surface missiles AGM-114 Hellfire, 70 mm multiple rocket launchers, air-to-air Stingers missiles and the 30 mm chain gun.
At the Singapore Air Show, Boeing officials gave a briefing of Boeing group's Indian market plans. Boeing indicated that the Indian defence hardware market worth USD 30 billion holds major potential for the US major in the near future. Boeing indicated that besides the confirmation of the selection of the Apache attack helicopter and the positive response from India for additional C-17 heavy lift aircraft and P8-I maritime aircraft, Boeing is also offering 15 Chinook CH 47 helicopters to India. Negotiations on the Chinook contract are underway and currently, it is at the industrial proposal discussion phase. The Chinook helicopters are expected to be customized for India. Boeing’s other offers also includes the Sabre warfare system and maritime surveillance systems. Boeing officials said that they are keen on facilitating training and support services.