The Apache attack helicopters, procured from America were inducted into the Indian Air Force on Tuesday.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Western Air Commander Air Marshal R Nambiar were present at the ‘Pooja’ ceremony before induction at the Pathankot Air Base. India is the 16th nation in the world to be operating the Apache attack helicopters
The Apache choppers receive water cannon salute, before induction at the Pathankot Air Base.
— ANI (@ANI) September 3, 2019
Speaking at the induction ceremony of the AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack choppers, Dhanoa said, “Apache attack choppers are being purchased to replace the aging Mi-35. This is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that is being operated worldwide by many countries.”
Terming it as one of the most fierce attack helicopters, the IAF chief said, “The platform has been flying since the 80s and has proved itself as an operational success across the globe. It is one of the most fierce attack choppers along with the capability to shoot, fire and forget ATGMs, rockets and other ammunition.”
The IAF chief said with the induction of Apache choppers, the force has upgraded its inventory to the latest generation of attack helicopters.
Yesterday IAF tweeted a video, introducing the helicopter,
‘#NewInduction: Glimpses of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter’s maiden flight at AFS Hindan. The helicopter is planned to be inducted into the IAF on 03 Sep 19 at AFS Pathankot,” Indian Air Force said tweeting a four-minute video of the chopper.
#NewInduction: Glimpses of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter’s maiden flight at AFS Hindan.
The helicopter is planned to be inducted into the IAF on 03 Sep 19 at AFS Pathankot. pic.twitter.com/UYiSrEfOsg
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 2, 2019
The AH-64E helicopters, the latest variants of the Apache, were delivered from the US.
After the first four choppers, another batch had come to the airbase and the eight Apaches are likely to be inducted in the first go.
The Defence Ministry had finalised the order for production, training and support of 22 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in 2015.
Two years later, the Central government cleared the acquisition of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army.
By 2020, Boeing would hand over the entire fleet of 22 Apaches to the Indian Air Force for operations.
India had signed a deal worth USD 3 billion in 2018 for the supply of 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers and 22 attack helicopters from American firms.
Both the deals were initiated during the UPA era around 2008-09 but could not be signed due to procedural and other issues in the contract.
On March 25, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had presided over a ceremony in Chandigarh for the official induction of the Chinook heavy-lift choppers.
The choppers will be used for ferrying heavy loads in the mountainous region of Ladakh and other areas for the Army and Air Force requirements.