Apache helicopters set to join IAF today: All you need to know
The US-made Apache AH-64E(I), to be inducted into the Indian Air Force in Chandigarh on Tuesday, can track up to 128 targets in a minute and will open up the tactical battlefield like never before, experts say.
“With its mast mounted Longbow millimetric wave radar, the Apache will open up the tactical battlefield like never before. Besides the TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided) anti-tank missiles that it carries, its ability to transmit and receive the battlefield picture (from and to other weapon systems) through data-link make it a very lethal acquisition,” Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), additional DG, Centre for Air Power Studies had told HT earlier this year.
Loaded with fire-and-forget Hellfire missiles, the Apache attack choppers can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritise threats. The missiles add muscle to the gunships with heavy anti-armour capabilities.
The Indian Air Force will be receiving 22 choppers in all in a $1.1-billion deal with US defence giant Boeing signed in September 2015. The first squadron is being raised with eight helicopters that have already been supplied by Boeing. All the 22 helicopters are to be delivered through 2020.
Apaches will be the second US-built helicopters to join the air force. The Indian Air Force has earlier inducted Boeing CH-47F (I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters on March 25.
Here are some vital specs of the Apache AH-64E(I) choppers: