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IAF prepares to induct US-made Apache choppers

India had inked a $ 1.1-billion deal with the US defence giant Boeing, in September 2015 for 22 Apaches. The first batch of choppers will be based at the Pathankot air base, said one of the officials cited above.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2019 09:57 IST
Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
New Delhi
IAF,UD,Apache
Indian Air Force is preparing to induct US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters, with the first batch of four choppers arriving in the country in July.(File photo)

The Indian Air Force is preparing to induct US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters, with the first batch of four choppers arriving in the country in July, two IAF officials said on condition of anonymity on Thursday.

India had inked a $ 1.1-billion deal with the US defence giant Boeing, in September 2015 for 22 Apaches. The first batch of choppers will be based at the Pathankot air base, said one of the officials cited above. The choppers will be split into two squadrons, with the second one to be based in Jorhat, the country’s east, he said.

The IAF currently operates Soviet-origin Mi-25 and Mi-35 helicopter gunships. Boeing is likely to deliver all the 22 helicopters through 2020, the second official said.

“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,” said Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retd), additional DG, Centre for Air Power Studies.

First Published: Apr 05, 2019 23:30 IST