Apache Attack Helicopter formally inducted into IAF inventory

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force finally gets the much-awaited and badly needed power boosters as the Boeing handed over eight Apache (AH-64E) Attack Helicopters at Pathankot on Tuesday. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was the chief guest at the event. IAF has signed a contract with The Boeing Company and US Government for 22 Apache Attack Helicopters. These are first eight of the deal that has been inducted in Pathankot-based 125 Helicopter Unit, named ‘Gladiators’. “These helicopters will be deployed in the Western regions of India,” said a press release issued by PIB.

Speaking at the occasion the Air Chief Marshal said “Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the Mi-35 fleet. Alongside the capability to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions, it also has modern EW capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in network-centric aerial warfare. Apaches have been an integral part of numerous historic campaigns worldwide. These aircraft have been modified specifically to suit the exacting standards demanded by IAF”.

Indian AirForce had signed a contract with US Government and Boeing Ltd in Sep 2015 for 22 Apache attack helicopters.

The helicopter is capable of delivering a variety of weapons which include air to ground Hellfire missiles, 70 mm Hydra rockets and air to air Stinger missiles. Apache also carries one 30 mm chain gun with 1200 rounds as part of area weapon subsystem. To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries fire control radar, which has a 360° coverage and nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.

Here is a video of Apache’s maiden flight in India posted by Indian Air Force. Do have a look.