Boeing expects to sign contracts soon covering India’s planned purchase of its AH-64E Apache and CH-47F Chinook helicopters, while global interest in the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor produced with partner Bell has reached a new high.
India is currently in “final signature routing with the Ministry of Defence” for both its planned acquisitions, says Leanne Caret, Boeing’s vice-president, vertical lift. “We anticipate a contract for the Chinooks in the first half of the year, and the Apaches in the second half,” she adds.
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, Indonesia moved to acquire the AH-64E last year, while Boeing has an active campaign to offer the type to Malaysia.
And Caret hints at further likely developments for the AH-64 programme, which in 2013 delivered its 2,000th production aircraft. Referring to long-term plans for an “Advanced Apache”, she notes: “there will be more technologies that will come.”
Meanwhile, as a pair of US Marine Corps MV-22s are making the type’s debut appearance at a Singapore show, Caret says the type is getting “a lot of interest internationally”. Israel is currently moving towards finalising an order for six of the type, solicitations have been received from two other nations and multiple delegations are being flown this week.
International sales of the Osprey, combined with a potential opportunity to meet a replacement carrier onboard delivery need for the US Navy, could combine to boost production by up to 100 aircraft beyond current confirmed orders for the US Air Force and Marines, Caret says.