Source: PIB & India Today
The Indian Air Force inducted 8 Apache helicopters at the Pathankot airbase. The eight fresh US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters will give a major boost to the Air Force’s combat powers.
Interesting facts about AH-64E Apache attack helicopter
- The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army.
- Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the Mi-35 fleet.
- India is the 14th nation in the world to be operating the Apache attack helicopters.
- The helicopter is capable of delivering a variety of weapons which include air to ground Hellfire missiles, 70 mm Hydra rockets and air to air Stinger missiles. Apache also carries one 30 mm chain gun with 1200 rounds as part of the area weapon subsystem.
- These helicopters have a firing range between 8 to 12 kilometers. And they are capable of flying at 290kmph.
- To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries fire control radar, which has a 360° coverage and nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
- These tandem seating helicopters are day/night, all-weather capable and have high agility and survivability against battle damage.
- These are easily maintainable even in field conditions and are capable of prolonged operations in tropical and desert regions.
- Alongside the capability to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions, it also has modern Electronic Warfare(EW) capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in network-centric aerial warfare.
- The IAF has signed a contract with Boeing company and the US Government for the deliverance of 22 Apache copters, out of which 8 were inducted in September 2019. The remaining 14 AH-64Es are said to be delivered by March 2020.
- These helicopters will be deployed in the Western regions of India.
The addition of the Apache Attack Helicopter is a significant step towards the modernization of the Indian Air Force helicopter fleet. This procurement will enhance the capability of IAF in providing integrated combat aviation cover to the army strike corps.