Pathankot: The Indian Air Force inducted eight US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters here on Tuesday, which will give a major boost to its combat capabilities. Officials said the aircraft were formally inducted at the induction ceremony at Pathankot Air Force station with Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa as the chief guest.
The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army. “Eight of the Apache attack helicopters inducted into the IAF, that will enhance the force’s combat capabilities,” a senior IAF official said. The ceremonial key was handed over by the Boeing company.
The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. The newly-inducted Apache AH-64E is equipped with the latest technology and will enhance the operational capabilities of the IAF and the strike force, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said on Tuesday.
Dhanoa was speaking at a ceremony held at the Pathankot Air Force station to induct eight US-made Apache helicopters into the Indian Air Force.”Apache-64E attack helicopters will replace the ageing Mi-35 fleet. A total of 22 Apaches are too delivered and the last batch will be delivered by March 2020,” he said. Dhanoa said these helicopters were equipped with the latest technology and will be deployed in the western region.
“These attack helicopters will enhance the operational capabilities of the IAF and the strike force,” Dhanoa said. He also said the Apache induction was a significant step towards modernisation of the IAF fleet. Apaches are equipped with the latest technology, 24×7 all-weather capable with high agility and survivability, he said.
Earlier, Boeing had confirmed that the first batch of the Apaches had arrived in India in July and an additional four choppers were delivered to the IAF the following week. “The eight choppers will then move to the Pathankot Air Force station for their formal induction by the IAF, in September,” it had said.