Eight US-made Apache attack helicopters AH-64E(I) were drafted into the Indian Air Force’s formation on Tuesday.
at the Pathankot airbase to add more points to the force as part of India’s modernisation plans.
Apache attack helicopters, Two-Apache helicopters operated by Wing Commander Kshitij Avasthi and wing leader Munish Dogra presented the tactical manoeuvres ere a select gathering, including IAF chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.
They were supported by co-pilots AK Shrivastava and Anoop Kumar Singh.
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa complimented the pilots and performed a pooja through the introduction of the new flying machines. They are next given water cannon salutations.
“#NewInduction: Impressions of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter’s first flight at AFS Hindan. The helicopter is designed to be drafted into the IAF on 03 Sep 19 at AFS Pathankot,” IAF tweeted with a 4-minute video of the chopper.
India must sign a $1.1-billion deal with US defence monster Boeing in September 2015 for 22 Apache choppers to focus its attack skills. The first Apache squadron is built with 8th helicopters that have previously been supplied by Boeing. Boeing is possible to deliver all the 22 helicopters, tailored for the IAF, through 2020. IAF currently operates Soviet-origin Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships.
“Since long a necessity was felt to have the most advanced attack helicopter in IAF arsenal, and therefore the choice was Apache AH-64E,” Wing Commander Shelly said at the induction ceremony.
Its assault skills and knowledge to hit terrorist targets with precision is matchless, she continued.
The Apache choppers landed at the air force headquarters in Hindan in July this year, in batches of 4, over 2-days.
were then moved to Pathankot in Punjab to expect their formal introduction.
Four of these helicopters are to be placed at the Pathankot Air Force Station, which is just several miles from the boundary with Pakistan and a prime airbase. At most limited six soldiers were killed in a terror strike on the airbase on January 2016.
IAF officials have told the second Apache fleet will be based in Assam’s Jorhat.
Each chopper can take eight fire-and-forget Hellfire weapons and also has a cannon-gun that comes with 1,200 rounds of munitions. These drive choppers can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritise threats.
The missiles equip the gunships with massive anti-armour capabilities. The Indian Army is also in the method of buying 6-Apache assault helicopters from the US for Rs 4,168 crore.
The Apache chopper is the 2nd US-built helicopters to be initiated into the IAF fleet. In March, the IAF had launched Boeing CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters.
The introduction of the Apache on Tuesday and the heavy-weight Chinook helicopters in Month this time is a game-changer for the Indian Army.
which has relied on the Russian-17 medium-lift helicopters for fast induction of forces and an old group of Russian Mi-26 helicopters.
The IAF’s charge capacity is restricted to 2-squadrons of Mi-35 helicopters, which did use by the former Soviet Union during its invasion of Afghanistan in the -1980s.
“Alongside the capacity to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunition.
it also has modern electronic-warfare capabilities to provide versatility to helicopters in network-centric aerial warfare,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said.
Officials have said the Apache attack helicopters can carry out precision attacks at delay ranges and can work in unfriendly airspace with warnings from the ground.
The IAF has ordered the helicopter a “deadly acquisition”. It can also forward and receive battleground photos to and from the weapon rules through data networking. It would also give a “significant edge in any future joint actions in support of land forces,” an IAF official said.