The first Apache Guardian helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a Boeing production facility in the US state of Arizona, in the presence of Air Marshal AS Butola, an IAF statement said on Saturday. The addition of the attack helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of the IAF`s helicopter fleet. This helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at stand-off ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground, the statement said.

An Advanced Multi-Role Helicopter

The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defence forces. Boeing has delivered more than 2,100 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production. The U.S. Army Apache fleet has accumulated (as of Jan 2015) more than 3.9 million flight hours since the first AH-64A was delivered to the U.S. Army in 1984.

Boeing Support

Optimising readiness of the Apache fleet around the globe is one of Boeing’s many missions. From performance-based logistics contracting and integrated fleet support to vertical lift maintenance, modifications and repairs, Boeing provides a broad spectrum of innovative products and services which directly support and enhance capabilities while reducing total cost of ownership. These award-winning services range from transactional spares to complete life cycle support solutions that are uniquely tailored to the requirements of each AH-64 customer. (Text Boeing)

AH-64 Apache Quick Facts

  • Boeing produced 937 AH-64A Apaches between 1984 and 1997. Some remain in service today, and have:
  • Two high-performance turboshaft engines and maximum cruise speed of 284 kph
  • Laser, infrared, and other systems (including target acquisition designation sight/pilot night vision sensor) to locate, track, and attack targets
  • A combination of laser-guided precision Hellfire missiles, 70 mm rockets, and a 30 mm automatic cannon with up to 1,200 high-explosive, dual-purpose ammunition rounds

Boeing’s AH-64D Apache and the AH-64D Apache Longbow have numerous enhancements, including:

  • Longer-range weapons accuracy and all-weather/night fighting 
  • Detection of objects (moving or stationary) without being detected 
  • Classification and threat-prioritisation of up to 128 targets in less than a minute 
  • Integrated sensors, networking, and digital communications for situational awareness, management of the combat arena in real time, and digital transmission of images and target locations to joint operations battlefield commanders (Text Boeing)

Apache Can Transmit And Receive The Battlefield Picture

The AH-64E (I) also has the ability to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking making it a lethal acquisition.

Apache To Provide Edge In Any Future Joint Operations

These helicopters will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces, according to the statement. Notably, the IAF had signed a contract with the US government and M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache choppers.

 Apache Will Be Shipped To India By July

Training At The Facilities At Us Army Base

The selected air and ground crew have undergone training at the facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama, and they will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF. (With reporting by ZeeBiz and Boeing)