Pathankot, Sep 3 : In a major boost to India’s air defence capabilities, the Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted eight Apache helicopters on Tuesday at the Pathankot Air Base in Punjab where President Boeing India, Salil Gupte, handed over the ceremonial key of Apache attack helicopter to Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.
In the process of upgrading upgraded its inventory to the latest generation of attack helicopters, the Indian Air Force will induct 22 of these choppers acquired from the US.
Anupam Banerjee, IAF PRO said, “It’s a ceremonial induction of the aircraft into IAF. As of now, we have 8 aircraft. 22 aircraft will come in phased manner&all will be inducted into IAF. We had attack helicopters earlier, but this aircraft brings in lethal firepower with great accuracy.”
On the occasion of induction of first 8 of the 22 Apache helicopters into Indian Air Force, President Boeing India, Salil Gupte said, ” These are the AH-64E variant, the same variant used by the US Army. These Apache helicopters have the latest technology. “
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said, ” It is one of the most fierce attack helicopters in the world. It is capable of performing many missions, today with the induction of Apache AH-64E, the Indian Air Force has upgraded its inventory to the latest generation of attack helicopters.”
A pooja ceremony was performed before induction of choppers whicattended by Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Western Air Commander Air Marshal R Nambiar at the Pathankot Air Base. India is the 16th nation in the world to be operating the Apache attack helicopters.
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.
Senior IAF officials said the addition of the Apache fleet will significantly enhance the force”s combat capabilities as the chopper has been customised to suit IAF”s future requirements.