The first batch of four Apache helicopters has arrived at the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of New Delhi on Saturday.
“The arrival of the Apaches, ahead-of-schedule, validates Boeing’s commitment to delivering on its promise of modernising India’s defence forces. Boeing has ensured high rate of mission readiness and increased operational capabilities through its current partnerships with the IAF,” Boeing said in a statement.
The eight helicopters are scheduled to be taken to Pathankot Air Force Station in Punjab for their formal induction by the IAF sometime in September.
“The helicopters will be handed over to us after proper assembling at a later date, following which they will be inducted into the Air Force,” said an IAF official.
The AH-64 helicopters, the most modern variant of the Apache, were delivered by its manufacturer, the US-based Boeing, ahead of schedule.
The delivery of the first batch of the AH-64E Apache helicopters to the IAF at the Hindon air base in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad came nearly four years after a multi-billion dollar deal for the choppers was sealed.
The Defence Ministry had finalised the order for production, training and support of 22 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in 2015.
The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, and is flown by the US Army. Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production and India is the 14th nation to select it for its military.