NEW DELHI :
As AH-64E Apache attack helicopter was inducted into the Indian Force today, the IAF gave a glimpse of the first flight of the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopters flown by the US Army.
"NewInduction: Glimpses of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter's maiden flight at AFS Hindan. The helicopter is planned to be inducted into the IAF on 03 Sep 19 at AFS Pathankot," Indian Air Force said tweeting a four-minute video of the chopper's flight.
The IAF today inducted eight such AH-64E choppers, the latest variants of the Apache, delivered from the US recently.
Equipped with laser and infrared systems for day-night operations and armed with air- to-surface Hellfire missiles, 70 mm rockets and automatic cannon, the choppers will be used for ferrying heavy loads in the mountainous region of Ladakh and other areas for the Army and Air Force requirements.
“Apache attack helicopters 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 helicopters in a network centric aerial warfare. Apaches have been an integral part of numerous historic campaigns worldwide. These aircraft have been modified specifically to suit the exacting standards demanded by IAF. I am happy to note that the delivery schedule is on time with eight helicopters already being delivered," said Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Chief of Air Staff.
By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches, bought from US defence giant Boeing. These first deliveries of eight units were ahead of schedule.
The addition of the Apache fleet will significantly enhance the force's combat capabilities as the chopper has been customised to suit IAF's future requirements, PTI reported.
Boeing said the AH-64E has the latest technology insertions, maintaining its standing as the world's best attack helicopter. Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production and India is the 14th nation to select it for its military.