Most advanced multi-role Apache AH-64E helicopters inducted into IAF

Apache helicopters will replace the ageing Mi-35 fleet of the IAF and the last batch of the choppers will be delivered by March 2020.

The aerospace major Boeing said the AH-64E has the latest technology insertions, maintaining its standing as the world's best attack helicopter.

Tuesday (September 3): Most advanced multi-role heavy attack helicopter category in the world – ‘Apache AH-64E’ inducted into service at the Pathankot Air Force Station with eight such helicopters joining the IAF (Indian Air Force) today. Their induction into IAF has boosted India’s combat capabilities significantly.

About Apache AH-64E:

It is US-made twin-turboshaft attack helicopter armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage, and four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons for carrying armament and stores, typically a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has significant systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.

Apache AH-64s have served US in many war conflicts including those in Afghanistan and Iraq.

India is the 16th nation to procure the Apache, and that it is receiving the most advanced variant, of the chopper.

“Today with the induction of the Apache AH-64E the IAF has upgraded its inventory to the latest generation of attack helicopters. Alongside the capability to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions, it also has modern Electronic Warfare capabilities to provide versatility to helicopters in a network-centric aerial warfare,” said IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa at the induction ceremony.

India had made contract of 22 Apache helicopters with the U.S. government and Boeing in September 2015 and the entire fleet will be in service with the IAF by 2020.

“Boeing is committed to supporting the modernization requirements of the Indian armed forces and maintaining them to be mission-ready. 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,” said Salil Gupte, president of Boeing India.


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