First batch of Apache Guardian helicopters likely to arrive in India by July, says the Air Force
- AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian is an advanced all-weather attack helicopter
- IAF signed a contract in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters
- First batch of these choppers is scheduled to be shipped to India by July
The first Apache Guardian attack helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force at a production facility of Boeing in Arizona on Friday, the Indian Air Force tweeted this morning.
The AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian is an advanced all-weather attack helicopter that can engage both air and ground targets with relative stealth using low-altitude obstacles like trees and hills as cover.
Air Marshal AS Butola represented the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at the Boeing production facility, the IAF tweeted. Representatives from the US government were also present, it said.
The IAF had signed a contract with the US government and Boeing in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.
The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July. Aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the facilities of the US Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama. These personnel will lead operate the Apache fleet in the IAF.
The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force's helicopter fleet, the IAF says. The helicopter has been customised to suit the IAF's future requirements and would have significant capability in 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 battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking, makes it a lethal acquisition, the IAF says.
These attack helicopters will provide significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces, the IAF said on a Facebook post.
India has already bought the Chinook transport helicopter, made by Boeing, from the US. The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel.