In a move that will add power to Indian Air Force, 8 Boeing AH- 64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters were inducted into the force on Tuesday. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa inducted the choppers officially into the service after a ceremonial salute given at the Pathankot Air Force Station.
The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters. It is believed that the addition of the Apache fleet will significantly enhance the IAF’s combat capabilities. The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US Government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for purchase of 22 Apache helicopters.
The Apache AH-64E helicopters have been adapted to suit the force’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain with the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
The aircraft can transmit and receive battlefield pictures to and from the weapon systems through data networking making it a lethal acquisition. These helicopters will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.
The Apaches are equipped with hellfire missiles and rockets, with one helicopter having the capacity to carry 8 such missiles. It also has a canon gun with 1200 rounds of firing capacity at a time along with which two missile pods carrying 19 missiles each can be fixed. The attack helicopter can also be used for reconnaissance.