The Indian Air Force has received its first Apache Guardian attack helicopter. Senior IAF officials said the addition of AH-64E (I) Apache helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of the force’s chopper fleet.
“We are on plan to deliver the first of 22 Apache starting July. This will give significant combat capabilities (to the air force),” said David Koopersmith, VP & GM, Vertical Lift, Boeing, Defense, Space and Security.
The Apache Guardian attack helicopter was formally handed over to India on May 10 at the chopper production facility in Arizona, US. India signed a contract for 22 of the Apache Guardian choppers with the US in September 2015.
“The first AH-64E (I) – Apache Guardian helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, the US on May 10,” IAF Spokesperson Group Captain Anupam Banerjee said.
“Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF,” the IAF said in a statement.
“The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground. These attack helicopters will provide significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces,” the IAF added.
The IAF said that the ability of these helicopters, to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking makes it a lethal acquisition.
Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited produces about eight Apache fuselage, per month, which are shipped across the world.