The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted eight of the 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters at the Air Force Station, Pathankot. The Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters, which are expected to improve battlefield attack capabilities for the IAF, were inducted by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa. Earlier, the Apache helicopters had arrived in July in two batches of four each and had landed at the Air Force Station, Hindon, on time as per the contract.
The variant AH-64E Apache inducted is also flown by the US Army. The delivery of the balance 14 Apache helicopters for the IAF is expected to be completed by 2020. The acquisition of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army is currently in the process of being evaluated by the MoD.
What is the Apache AH-64E Helicopter?
- These machines are advanced multi-mission helicopters.
- Apache comes with the latest technology insertions and is the world’s best attack helicopter.
- They have a fully integrated, digital cockpit, enhancing the aircraft’s mission performance.
- According to Boeing, these helicopters are uniquely suited to meet a commander’s needs.
- They can be used in reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack, in difficult environments.
- These helicopters have come through the Foreign Military sales and in 2015 the order for production, training, and support of these helicopters were finalized by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
- Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the Mi-35 fleet. Alongside the capability to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions, it also has modern Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities to provide versatility to helicopters in network-centric aerial warfare.
- The Apaches have been part of numerous historic campaigns worldwide. And have been modified according to the specifications and needs of the IAF. It may be noted that India is the 16th country which has chosen the Apache helicopter and has inducted the most advanced variant.
- On the induction of the helicopters in the IAF, Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India, said that the company is already committed to supporting the modernization requirements of the Indian armed forces and maintaining them to be mission-ready.