IAF inducts AH-64E Apache Chopper
By Sahar Khan
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday formally inducted the AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter into its inventory at Air Force Station Pathankot. During the induction ceremony the Air Chief Marshall BS Dhanoa said,”Apache attack helicopter are being purchased to replace the Mi-35 fleet. Alongside the capability to shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunitions, it also has modern EW capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in a network centric aerial warfare. These aircraft have been modified specifically to suit the exacting standards demanded by IAF”. As many as eight choppers have already being delivered, he added.
IAF has signed a contract with ‘The Boeing Company’ and US government for 22 Apache attack helicopters. These choppers will be deployed in the western regions of India.
The helicopter is capable of delivering variety of weapons which include air to ground hellfire missiles, 70 mm hydra rockets and air-to-air stinger missiles. Apache also carries one 30 mm chain gun with 1200 rounds as part of area weapon sub-system. The addition of Apache attack helicopter is seen as a significant step towards modernisation of IAF chopper fleet. The procurement will enhance the capability of IAF in providing integrated combat aviation cover to the army strike corps.