Apache helicopters set to be inducted into IAF on September 3
New Delhi, Aug 31: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will induct US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters into the Indian Air Force at Pathankot in Punjab on September 3, an official said on Friday. The first four of the 22 helicopters was handed over to the air force by US aerospace major Boeing on July 27.
The IAF is organising an induction ceremony of Apache AH-64E helicopters at the Pathankot air force station on September 3, Defence Spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said.
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa will be the chief guest for the event, he said. The delivery of the first batch of Apache helicopters to the IAF at the Hindan air base came nearly four years after a multi-billion dollar deal for the choppers was sealed.
The AH-64E Apache is one of the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, and is flown by the US Army. The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.
Additionally, the Defence Ministry in 2017 approved the procurement of six Apache helicopters along with weapons systems from Boeing at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore for the Army. This will be its first fleet of attack choppers. By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches, and these first deliveries are ahead of schedule.
The AH-64E Apache for the Indian Air Force completed successful first flights in July 2018. The first batch of Indian Air Force crew began their training to fly the Apache in the US in 2018.