IAF Gets First Apache Helicopter During Ceremony Held at Boeing’s Production Facility in United States’ Arizona; Watch Video

Apache Guardian helicopter AH-64E (I) was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) by the United States’ aerospace major Boeing at Mesa in Arizona, USA on May 10. Air Marshal AS Butola, represented the IAF and accepted the first Apache in a ceremonyheld  at Boeing production facility. Representatives from US Government were also present.

Video of Apache Helicopter:

 

IAF had signed a contract with US Government and M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July this year. Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.

IAF’s Tweet:

“The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet. The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain,” said the IAF in a statement.

IAF’s Tweet:

The helicopter has the capability 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. These attack helicopters will provide significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.

IAF’s Tweet:

According to Hindustan Times report, the first batch of choppers will be based at the Pathankot air base. He report further added that the choppers will be split into two squadrons, with the second one to be based in eastern part of India in Jorhat. Indian Army Tests ‘Air Cavalry’ Using Attack Helicopters.

The IAF is currently operating Soviet-origin Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships. Boeing is likely to deliver all the 22 helicopters through 2020. Meanwhile, on March 25, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa inducted the first batch of four Chinook helicopters into the IAF.

New Delhi signed a $ 3 billion deal to buy 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters in September 2015 with Boeing and the government of the United States. The Indian government signed a direct contract with the Boeing to procure Chinook helicopters, while the deal to buy Apache helicopters is a mixed one. India Signs $3-Billion Deal With Russia to Get Akula Class Nuclear Submarine, Chakra-III on Lease.

A part of the deal was signed with the US aviation company and the other half is signed with the US government under foreign military sales route. Meanwhile, last year, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government signed another deal with the Boeing to acquire six Apache helicopters for the Indian Army. It will be the first fleet of attack helicopters of the army.

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