India became the 16th country to acquire the Apache when the Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted eight of them at the Pathankot Air Baseon Tuesday.
Eight US-made Apache stealth attack helicopters, effective of firing missiles and rockets, were inducted into the Indian Air Force on Tuesday, significantly improving the force’s combat capability at a time India faces complex security challenges including cross border terrorism. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa installed the choppers officially into the service after a ceremony carried at the Pathankot Air Force Station.
Salil Gupte, President, Boeing India told ET that the bodies of the aircraft of the six Apaches for the army will be made at the Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) facility in Hyderabad. Later, he added that 2200 Apache helicopter have been delivered by the US to various countries of the world. India is its 16th customer. Significantly, some of the essential components of these machines have been made in India.
Aerospace major Boeing manufactured the eight helicopters which were part of a multi-billion dollar deal India struck with the US government for 22 Apache AH-64E choppers about four years ago. The IAF is using the latest version of the Apache known as AH-64E.
Tthe AH-64E has the modern technology insertions, sustaining its standing as the world’s best attack helicopter, the aerospace major said.
The first batch of Indian Air Force crew started their training to fly the Apache in the US in 2018. The AH-64E Apache for the IAF concluded successful first flights in July 2018. The eight Apache choppers arrived in India in July.
Later, Gupte added, “We are confident that the Apaches will be an indispensable asset to the Indian Air Force. We will continue our efforts to deliver advanced capabilities to India’s defence forces.”