Eight United States made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters joined the Indian Air Force fleet today in Pathankot, in a major boost to India’s combat capabilities.
In 2015, India had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Boeing for the supply of 22 of these choppers, widely considered the most advanced helicopters of their type in the world.
The helicopters were inducted in the presence of Air Force chief BS Dhanoa at the Pathankot Air Force station.
The Apaches are meant to progressively replace the IAF’s legacy fleet of Russian Mi-35 choppers which are nearing the end of their service life. The choppers, which fire anti-armour missiles, are meant to take out tanks and hardened targets in the Rajasthan desert. They are equipped with advanced sensors to enable them to detect and engage their targets while flying very low and at high speeds to evade detection by enemy forces.
The AH-64E Apache for the IAF completed successful first flights in July 2018. The first batch of IAF crew began their training to fly the Apache in the US last year.