The Hindu : Sep 02, 2019, 03:21 PM
In a major boost to the Indian Air Force’s combat capabilities, eight US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters are set to be inducted into the IAF on September 3, officials said on Monday.
Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa will be the chief guest during the induction ceremony, which will take place at the Pathankot Air Force station.
The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the U.S. Army.
“Eight of the Apache attack helicopters are set to be inducted into the IAF, that will enhance the force’s combat capabilities,” a senior IAF official said.
The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the U.S. government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. The first four of the 22 helicopters was handed over to the air force by Boeing on July 27.
“By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches, and these first deliveries are ahead of schedule,” Boeing had earlier said. The aerospace major said the AH-64E has the latest technology insertions, maintaining its standing as the world’s best attack helicopter.
“It is the only available combat helicopter with a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement. For the AH-64 E, this includes greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding. It is uniquely suited to meet the commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack — in both land and littoral environments — all without reconfiguration,” Boeing said.