NEW DELHI: The first Apache Guardian attack helicopter AH-64E (I) was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, US on Friday.
Air Marshal AS Butola, who represented the IAF, accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility in the US.
The IAF will induct 22 Apaches by March 2020 under the Rs 13,952 crore deal inked with the US in September 2015.
The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July. Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama.
The addition of Apache is an important step towards modernisation of the IAF’s helicopter fleet.
The IAF said that the Apaches have the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground. “The ability of Apaches to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking makes them lethal,” IAF said.
The Apaches are armed with stinger air-to-air missiles, Hellfire Longbow air-to-ground missiles, guns and rockets. AH-64E Apache is one of the leading multi-role attack helicopters globally and is flown by the US Army.
Its features include joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision-aiding.
In Video:IAF gets first Apache Guardian attack helicopter