8 Apache Helicopter Inducted by the Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force plans to induct the Advanced Multi-rope attack helicopters, the AH-64E into its fleet on September 3, 2019. The inducted Helicopters will provide a major boost to the attack and reconnaissance capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
About the AH-64E Apache Helicopters
- The AH-64 Apache is a versatile and all-weather twin-turboshaft attack helicopter developed by the Boeing Defense, Space and Security Corporation of the United States.
- The AH-64E helicopter needs a crew of two people to operate it and is fitted with an advanced sensor suite comprising of various modern equipment to detect and destroy targets on land, air and sea.
- The AH-64E is a 30 mm cannon and can also carry several rockets, missiles and extra fuel tanks on its four hard points.
- Since the AH-64E was expected to operate in a very adverse scenario in midst of heavy gun fire, it has been developed with a very high system redundancy to improve its performance in combat.
- The Helicopter was designed and developed in the 1980s and has since then, been continuously upgraded by the manufacturer and the various operators.
Why were the Apaches bought by the Indian Air Force?
- After a detailed evaluation which included a flyoff between the Ah-64E and the Mil Mi-28 of Russia, the Indian Air Force decided to sign a multi-billion contract with the US Government and the Boeing Company for 22 Apache Helicopters.
- The first 4 helicopters of the contract were handed over the Indian Air Force on July 27 and the Boeing Company plans to complete the delivery of all 22 helicopters by 2020, ahead of the originally planned schedule.
The current attack helicopter fleet of the Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force currently operates a few Mil-24/35 Hind attack helicopters. These helicopters were made in Russia and have been since upgraded in Israel. The Hind helicopters have served with high distinction in the various peacekeeping operations of Indian Forces in Africa. The performance of these versatile Hinds was also very much appreciated in Afghanistan and India has gifted 4 of its surplus Hinds to the Afghani Air Force.