In a historic boost to the firepower of the Indian Air Force (IAF), it has been reported that the first four AH-64E Apache attack helicopters would be delivered to the IAF on July 27. As per a DNA report, the first batch of Apache Helicopters will reach the Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad by the end of July, though the deployment of the attack helicopter’s first squadron in Pathankot, Punjab will take another month.
The helicopters will be delivered at the Hindon Air Base on an Antonov AN 224 transport aircraft. The helicopters will be sent to Pathankot after a number of trials following final assembly. While the first squadron to receive the new helicopters will be 125 Helicopter Squadron (125 H SQUADRON) deployed at Pathankot, it will be followed by another squadron reportedly based at Jorhat in Assam.
The induction of Apache helicopters will come as a matter of huge relief for the Indian Air Force, which currently uses decades-old, Russian made Mi-35 and Mi-25 attack helicopters. The current assets have far outlived their utility and the IAF was in dire need of world-class attack helicopters. Currently, the IAF also Rudra attack helicopters, developed out of the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter ‘Dhruv’.
Apache helicopters are undoubtedly the leading helicopters as far as attack helicopters around the world are concerned. These helicopters not only have impressive capabilities but have also seen action proving its worth. Apache helicopters are the primary attack helicopters of multiple nations like Israel, United Arab Emirates and others along with the United States. Apache helicopters are known for their trustworthiness and have proved very helpful in many operations conducted by the US Army around the globe. The primary attack helicopters have great power and can be used both at day and night. They will increase the capacity of the Indian Defence Forces to attack and conduct operations in a given area. Along with the Apache helicopters, the US State Department had also agreed last year to the sale of four AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars, 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles, 200 Stinger Block I-92H missiles, Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Systems, 30mm cannons, transponders, simulators, training equipment to India.
With the induction of Apache Helicopters, Modi government’s strategy of modernising India’s defence forces will get yet another boost.