8 Apache helicopters were inducted into the IAF on 3rd September, 2019

The helicopters were inducted by IAF chief BS Dhanoa after a ceremony held at the Pathankot Air Force Station. US Navy Captain Daniel E. Fillion expressed delight over the induction and called it a great day for India-US defence relationship.

United States Navy Captain Daniel E. Fillion has expressed delight over the induction of American-made Apache choppers into the Indian Air Force. He has stated the induction of Apache choppers into IAF as a great day for defence ties of the two countries. The senior US Navy official from the Office of Defence Cooperation said, “The United States is very happy on attending the induction ceremony. It's a great day for US-India bilateral defence relationship,” while speaking to ANI. 

8 Apache Helicopters Inducted Into IAF

On 3rd September, Tuesday, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa inducted 8 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack Helicopters into the Indian Air Force. Out of the 22 procured from the US, eight Apache helicopters were inducted in the first batch after a ceremony held at the Pathankot Air Force Station. The IAF had signed a contract with the US government and Boeing for these Apache helicopters back in September 2015. The remaining 14 helicopters are expected to be inducted by 2020, as stated in the defence deal.

Apache To Boost IAF Capabilities

With some major components of the ‘Flying Tank’ being made in India, Apache helicopters are expected to give a major boost to the IAF. The helicopters have been specially customized to suit the Indian Air Force’s requirements, provide significant capability in mountainous terrain, and enhance the IAFs lethal firepower with great accuracy. The chopper also equips the force with the ability to operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground. 

Indo-US Defence Deals Strengthen Ties 

While speaking to ANI, Air Marshall Arvindra Singh Butola of the Indian Air Force said, “The induction of Apache into IAF is going to give a great boost in the operational capability, which no platform has given till now.” The defence ties between India and US has been amplifying with several deals being signed. India has purchased numerous defence equipment including M777 Howitzers, P-8I aircraft for Indian Navy, C-17 Globemaster, Chinook heavy-lift transport choppers from the United States in recent years. To facilitate mutual logistics support, the two countries have also signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). 

Over the years around 2200 Apache helicopters have been acquired by various countries from the US and India is its 16th customer, said Boeing.