THE Indian Air Force on Tuesday inducted 8 Apache helicopters at the Pathankot airbase boosting IAF’s combat capabilities. The eight fresh US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters were acquired recently. The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army. The first four of the 22 helicopters was handed over to the air force by Boeing on July 27.Air Force chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was the chief guest at the ceremony at Pathankot airbase. The Air Force chief and Western Air Commander Air Marshal R Nambiar performed a ‘pooja’ ceremony before the induction at the Pathankot airbase. India is the 14th nation in the world to be operating the Apache attack helicopters.IAF spokesperson Anupam Banerjee said, “It is a ceremonial induction of the aircraft into IAF. As of now, we have 8 aircraft. Twenty-two aircraft will come in phased manner and all will be inducted into the IAF. We had attack helicopters earlier, but this aircraft brings in lethal firepower with great accuracy.” he Apache attack helicopters were given a water salute at the airbase ahead of the induction.IAF chief Dhanoa said, “The Apache helicopters have been modified according to the needs of the IAF. We are very happy with the scheduled delivery of the helicopters on time. “The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. Their joining the IAF is a significant step towards modernization. The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, and is flown by the US Army, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa told reporters. he Apache AH-64E are equipped with latest technology and will enhance the operational capabilities of the IAF and the strike force, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said.
“Apache-64E attack helicopters will replace the ageing Mi-35 fleet. A total of 22 Apaches are to be delivered and the last batch will be delivered by March 2020,” he said. Dhanoa said these helicopters are equipped with latest technology and will be deployed in the western region. “These attack helicopters will enhance the operation capabilities of the IAF and the strike force,” Dhanoa said.