Ahead of the Indian Air Force Day in October, Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters will be officially inducted into the service in the first week of September.
Ahead of the Indian Air Force Day in October, Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters will be officially inducted into the service in the first week of September. Top IAF officials confirmed to Financial Express Online that “All the tests have been completed and the induction ceremony will take place on September 3, at the Pathankot Air Force Station.” The four out of 22 helicopters ordered arrived from the US in July are presently at the IAF’s Hindon station. The deal for these helicopters was signed in 2015 and these are coming through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. The delivery of the whole order is expected to be completed by 2020 as stated in the contract.
Considered to be the only attack helicopter in the world with a wide range of capabilities, has been customized to meet IAF’s specific requirements. These machines which can be launched in any mission come with top-end technology on board, making it the most lethal in the world.
What is IAF getting?
It is a $1.1 billion government to government deal. The AH-64E Apache for India has been customized based on the specifications given by IAF for future requirements. The machines that IAF is getting come with joint digital operability.
There is greater thrust and lift and has improved survivability, and cognitive decision aiding. These are good to be used in mountainous terrain. They have the capability for precision attacks at the standoff ranges.
Apache can be operated in hostile airspace with threats from the ground and can receive and transmit the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems. This is possible because of the data networking makes it a lethal acquisition.
Besides being used for lethal attack, these can also be used for carrying out reconnaissance; for security and be despatched for peacekeeping operations. These multi-role machines are being flown by not only the US forces but also by other armed forces across the globe.
India is the 14th customer of the US-based Boeing Company, which has delivered so far around 2,200 Apache helicopters globally. Both pilots and ground handling staff have undergone extensive training in the US. These helicopters will be replacing the Russian Mi-35 helicopter.
Major components of these machines have been made in India. There will be Hellfire Longbow missiles. Also, Stinger Block I-92H missiles, night vision sensors, and inertial navigation systems.
Says Air vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur VM (retd), Addl Director-General, Centre for Air Power Studies “The Apaches bring in very potent capability, both during day and night – it is a true attack helicopter. The millimetric wave radar, which is mast-mounted, would open up the battlefield like never before – and its picture can be transmitted through the IAF’s Integrated Air Command and Control System to other attack platforms. The firepower it can deliver is immense – with 70mm rockets and Hellfire anti-tank missiles.”
“Truly a revolutionary weapon system,” he adds.