The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received its first Apache Guardian helicopter. The helicopter was formally handed over to IAF on May 10 at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, US.
IAF had signed a contract for 22 of the Apache Guardian choppers with the US in September 2015.
Air Marshal AS Butola, who represented the Indian Air Force, accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility where the US government representatives were also present.
The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July this year.
Selected Aircrew and ground crew have already undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These trained personnel will lead operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.
The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is seen as a significant step towards modernisation of the Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet.
The helicopter has been customised to suit IAF’s future requirements and will have significant capability in the mountainous terrain.
The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground.
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.
These attack helicopters will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.