New Delhi: Amidst the two-month military face-off with China, India has quietly armed itself with all 22 Boeing Co. Apache gunships, a powerful weapon-delivery platform now being deployed in eastern Ladakh to showcase Indian intent to fight back.
The Apache attack helicopters, designed for all kinds of missions, come equipped with laser and infrared systems for day-night operations and are armed with air-to-surface Hellfire missiles, 70 mm rockets and an automatic cannon.
The delivery of the 22nd Apache, the last of the order placed in Sep. 2015, to the Indian Air Force (IAF) was completed by Boeing Co. in June, according to a company statement here today.
The deliveries had begun a year ago and the gunships were inducted into an IAF squadron soon after. The American aerospace major had in March completed delivery of all the 15 Chinook helicopters to the IAF.
“The final five of the 22 Apache attack helicopters were handed over to the IAF at Air Force Station, Hindan. Earlier in March, Boeing handed over the last five of 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF,” the company statement said.
“Customer centricity, commitment to the modernisation and mission-readiness of India’s defence forces are key values to our partnership with India,” said Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India.
“With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” Ahuja added.
India is one of 17 nations to select the Apache and has the most advanced variant, the AH-64E Apache that is also flown by the United States and many other countries. The AH-64E Apache is designed and equipped with an open systems architecture including the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems.
It has an improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System that provides day, night and all-weather target information, as well as night vision navigation capability. In addition to classifying air and ground targets, the Fire Control Radar has been updated to operate in the maritime environment.
The gunship is uniquely suited to meet a commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack, across myriad environments – without reconfiguration.
Chinooks are in service with 20 defence forces around the world or are on contract to receive them. The iconic tandem-rotor helicopter has been the world’s most reliable and efficient heavy-lift helicopter for more than 50 years, allowing customers to operate in climatic (hot), altitude (high), and crosswind conditions that typically keep other helicopters from flying.
The CH-47F(I) Chinook contains a modern machined airframe, a Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and a Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS). Those innovations and technologies will help the IAF meet evolving mission demands, maximize interoperability, and reduce life cycle costs.
The Indian Ministry of Defence finalised the order with Boeing Co. for the production, training and support of 22 AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters in Sep. 2015.
India and the US signed a contract for the acquisition of six more Apaches for the Indian Army during American President Donald J. Trump‘s visit to New Delhi in February.
Boeing’s joint venture in Hyderabad, Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL), has been producing aero-structures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter for both US Army and international customers.
TBAL marks a major step towards the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defence in India. Boeing’s suppliers in India are manufacturing critical systems and components for the Chinooks, including the crown and tail cone assembly by Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and the ramp and aft pylon by Dynamatic Technologies Limited.
Boeing today works with over 200 suppliers and partners in India in support of the ‘Make in India‘ and ‘Skill India‘ initiative of the Government of India. With the induction of the Apaches and Chinooks, Boeing anticipates additional opportunities in rotorcraft training and sustainment.
Boeing Defence India provides holistic life cycle solutions for government and defence customers in the country. Boeing delivers services that ensure high availability and mission-readiness of platforms to its defence customers at competitive costs through its investments in services infrastructure and building local capabilities and partnerships.
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