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Aerial Assassin: How AH-64 E Apache became the world's best Attack helicopter?

By Simran Kashyap
|

New Delhi, Sep 03: To ace weapon upgrade game, the Indian Air Force is leaving no stone unturned. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted eight of the 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters at the Air Force Station, Pathankot.

IAF gets its first fleet of 8 US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters

The helicopters will be split in two squadrons, based in Pathankot and Punjab, to combat threats from Pakistan. It will also help forces maintain strict vigilance in Jorhat, Assam with focus on potential Chinese threats.

Explained: The importance of the Apache attack choppers inducted into IAF

The AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian is an advanced all-weather attack helicopter with relative stealth, using low-altitude obstacles like trees and hills as cover. The addition of the Apache is an important step towards modernisation of the IAF's helicopter fleet.

The AH-64E Apache is one of the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, and is flown by the US Army.

The Indian Air Force had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. On July 27, 2019 the first four of the 22 helicopters was handed over to the air force at the Hindan air base by Boeing.

What is the AH-64E Apache Helicopter?

The Apache helicopter is similar to a flying tank, it is designed to survive heavy attack and inflict massive damage.These machines are advanced multi-mission helicopters.

Apache comes with the latest technology insertions and is the world's best attack helicopter. They have a fully integrated, digital cockpit, enhancing the aircraft's mission performance.

The helicopter is powered by two high-performance turboshaft engines with a maximum cruise speed of 284 km per hour or 152 knots.

IAF gets its first fleet of 8 Apache attack choppers

Apache choppers that took over the mighty tanks during Gulf war

The US-made Apache Guardian AH-64E (I) attack helicopter, which has now attained legendary status, has also been featured in several Hollywood movies.

The Apache first saw action during the Gulf War and almost half of them were deployed in Saudi Arabia by the United States following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Their performance in the war was remarkable with the loss of only one chopper.Produced by Boeing Defence, the Apache is preferred for use in close air support operations.

It flew for the first time in 1975, two years after the Soviet Army introduced its T-72 tank. The Apache was designed to fly at tree-top level to target the then new generation of Soviet tanks that had higher-calibre guns than their predecessors. The primary weapons of the Apache to kill tanks were the TOW and Hellfire anti-tank missiles, of which it could carry up to 16.

Apache AH-64: Specifications

The AH-64 Apache attack helicopter can accommodate two crewmembers - the pilot and gunner. While the pilot sits at the front the gunner sits behind him. While controlling the weapons systems, the gunner can coordinate with other support units on the ground and in the air while the pilot can track, engage and shoot targets via a helmet-mounted tracking system.

How many Apache helicopters are being acquired by India?

The Indian government has signed a contract for 22 Apache helicopters with the US government and Boeing.

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