The Indian Air Force (IAF) said that the first batch of Apache is likely to arrive in India by July. The AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian is an advanced all-weather helicopter which can engage in both air and ground targets. The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract back in September 2015 for 22 helicopters out of which the first batch of these advance choppers will be shipped to India by July.
The IAF stated that they received the first Apache Guardian attack helicopter as it was handed over to them at the production facility of Boeing in Arizona, US. The first Apache was received by Air Marshal AS Butola who represented the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache in a ceremony of Boeing.
The Indian Air Force in a tweet said “The latest acquisition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of IAF’s helicopter fleet. The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain”. The aircrew and the ground crew have undergone rigorous trainings at the facilities of the US army at Fort Rucker in Alabama. These trained personnel will lead the operationalization of the Apache fleet in the IAF.
The Apache helicopter have been customized to suit the future requirements of the Indian Air Force and would have significant capabilities to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground. The ability of these helicopters to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking makes it a lethal acquisition.
The AH-64E Apache is flown by the United States Army is considered to be one of the best multi-role attack helicopters in the world. Back in 2017, the Indian defence ministry had sanctioned the procurement of six Apache helicopters worth Rs. 4168 crore from Boeing.
The IAF will induct the 22 Apache helicopters by March 2020 under the Rs. 13,952 crore deals linked with US in September 2015.
IAF received first Apache attack helicopter AH-64E in US
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