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The Apache helicopters, the world's most lethal multi-role combat chopper, had reached India at IAF Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad on 27th July 2019 and after a series of trials, they were sent to Pathankot airbase. The Indian Air Force inducted the first batch of US-made Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters AH-64E at the Pathankot Air Force Station Tuesday. IAF Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa was the chief guest at the induction ceremony.
Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the IAF's existing Mi-35 fleet,? the Chief Marshal said. They will enhance the operation capabilities of the IAF and the strike force, he told PTI. He also said that Apaches is equipped with latest tech which is 24X7 all-weather capable with high agility and survivability.
The helicopters had reached India at IAF Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad on July 27 and after a series of trials, they were sent to Pathankot airbase.
The Apache helicopters are the world?s most lethal multi-role combat helicopters. Armed with fire-and-forget Hellfire missiles, the Apache attack choppers can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritise threats. The missiles equip the gunships with heavy anti-armour capabilities. It is also equipped with 70 mm Hydra rockets and air-to-air Stinger missiles. Apache also carries one 39 mm chain gun with 1,200 rounds as part of area weapon sub-system.
To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries fire control radar, which has 360 degree coverage and nose mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It also has modern electronic warfare (EW) capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in a network-centric aerial warfare.
The induction of the Apache on Tuesday and the heavy-weight Chinook helicopters in March this year is a game-changer for the Indian military.
IAF has signed a contract with Boeing and the US government for 22 Apache attack helicopters. The first eight helicopters have been delivered on schedule and last batch of the helicopters is to be delivered by March 2020.
The induction of Apache at AIF's Pathankot air base assumes significance as plains of Punjab has always been the main theatre of all wars with Pakistan. Their induction will provide an additional punch to the Indian army on the ground as well.
#NewInduction: Glimpses of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter's maiden flight at AFS Hindan.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 2, 2019
The helicopter is planned to be inducted into the IAF on 03 Sep 19 at AFS Pathankot. pic.twitter.com/UYiSrEfOsg