The Indian Air Force announced on its Twitter account that first AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian attack helicopter was formally handed over at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, on 10 May.
“Air Mshl AS Butola, represented the IAF & accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility,” also added.
The Apache is the world’s leading multi-role attack helicopter. The AH-64E Apache, the most modern variant also flown by the U. S. Army, features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.
India is the 14th nation to select the Apache and ultimately will receive 22 AH-64E attack helicopters.
The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by Jul this year. Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. This personnel will lead the operationalization of the Apache fleet in the Indian Air Force.
“The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernization of IAF’s helicopter fleet. The helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain,” a senior Indian Air Force official said during the ceremony.
The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
The ability of these helicopters, to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, too and from the weapon systems through data networking makes it a lethal acquisition. These attack helicopters will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.