India to decide on attack helicopter in two months: Boeing

The Indian Air Force may decide about its next-generation helicopter gunships sometime over the next two months, according to Boeing Company representatives.  The IAF is to choose between Boeing's AH-64D Apache attack helicopter and the Russian Mi-28NE Night Hunter.

Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing Military Aircraft, confirmed that the IAF had already concluded flying tests as well as written evaluations of both aircraft and the winner would be announced sometime in the third quarter of 2011.

If the IAF decides to opt for Boeing's Apache, and also decide on the matter in the next two months, then deliveries would commence from 2014, with the first operational units being fielded in 2015.

Chadwick also mentioned that the IAF was also to decide on its tender for 15 heavy-lift helicopters by the end of the year. Here once again Boeing faces of with Russian Mil in a competition which pitches Boeing's CH-47F Chinook against the Mil Mi-26T2.

'For the attack helicopter, the trials have completed, they completed the written evaluations and we expect it will be announced in within the next few months. On the heavy helicopter, that's about six months out - they have finished the flight evaluations and now they have to go through the process of the written evaluations and make a decision later this fall,' Chadwick  said.