In a move that would terrify Pakistan, India has decided to induct the first batch of Apaches in Pathankot. Boosting the firepower of India’s defence forces, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will officially induct the first batch of 8 Apache attack helicopters into the Indian Air Force on September 3 in Pathankot.
“The Defence Minister is scheduled to induct the Apache attack choppers into the Air Force officially in Pathankot on September 3. The first batch of choppers had arrived at the Hindan airbase about three weeks ago at the Hindan airbase in an Antonov cargo plane,” defence officials told ANI here.
The AH-64E helicopters, the latest variants of the Apache, were delivered from the US. After the first four choppers, another batch had come to the airbase and the eight Apaches are likely to be inducted in the first go.
As per reports, the Defence Ministry had finalised the order for production, training and support of 22 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters in 2015. Two years later, the Central government cleared the acquisition of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army.
By 2020, Boeing would hand over the entire fleet of 22 Apaches to the Indian Air Force for operations. India had signed a deal worth USD 3 billion in 2018 for the supply of 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers and 22 attack helicopters from American firms.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage, and four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons for carrying armament and stores, typically a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods.
The AH-64 has significant systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.