India to operate Apache gunships from September

Boeing’s Apache attack helicopter for the Indian Air Force

New Delhi: American aerospace major Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced the arrival of the first four AH-64E Apaches for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Hindan Air Force Station. An additional four Apaches will arrive in the coming week, and the eight will then move to the Patankhot Air Force Station for their formal induction by the IAF, in September, the company said in a statement.

By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches, and these first deliveries are ahead of schedule. The order for production, training and support of 22 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters was finalized by the Indian Ministry of Defence in 2015. The Indian government also cleared the acquisition of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army in 2017.

The AH-64 Apache attack helicopter is used by the United States Army and a growing number of international defence forces. Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production.

India is the 14th nation to select the Apache, and is receiving the most modern variant, the AH-64E Apache, also flown by the US Army. The AH-64E has the latest technology insertions. It is the only available combat helicopter with a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement.

For the AH-64E, this includes greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding. It is uniquely suited to meet the commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack—in both land and littoral environments—all without reconfiguration.

The AH-64E Apache for the Indian Air Force completed successful first flights in July 2018. The first batch of Indian Air Force crew began their training to fly the Apache in the US in 2018.

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