8 Apache helicopters inducted into IAF
The Indian Air Force inducted the first batch of eight US-made Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters AH-64E at the Pathankot Air Force Station on Tuesday. IAF Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa was the chief guest at the induction ceremony.
Pathankot: The Indian Air Force inducted the first batch of eight US-made Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters AH-64E at the Pathankot Air Force Station on Tuesday. IAF Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa was the chief guest at the induction ceremony.
"Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the IAF's existing Mi-35 fleet," the Chief Marshal said. "They will enhance the operation capabilities of the IAF and the strike force," he said.
He also said the Apache choppers are equipped with latest tech which is 24X7 all-weather capable with high agility and survivability.
The helicopters had reached India at IAF Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad on July 27 and after a series of trials, they were sent to Pathankot airbase to be inducted into the IAF.
The Apache helicopters are the world's most lethal multi-role combat helicopters. Armed with fire-and-forget Hellfire missiles, the Apache attack choppers can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritise threats.
The missiles equip the gunships with heavy anti-armour capabilities. It is also equipped with 70 mm Hydra rockets and air-to-air Stinger missiles. Apache also carries one 39 mm chain gun with 1,200 rounds as part of area weapon sub-system.
To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries fire control radar, which has 360-degree coverage and nose mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
It also has modern electronic warfare (EW) capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in a network-centric aerial warfare.
IAF has signed a contract with Boeing and the US government for 22 Apache attack helicopters. The first eight helicopters have been delivered on schedule and the last batch of the helicopters is to be delivered by March 2020.
The induction of Apache at AIF's Pathankot air base assumes significance as plains of Punjab has always been the main theatre of all wars with Pakistan.
Their induction will provide an additional punch to the Indian army on the ground as well.