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IAF gets Apache attack helicopters from Boeing

  • Category
    Defence
  • Published
    16th Jul, 2020

Boeing handed over the last of the five AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF), completing the contract for 22 Apaches.

Context

Boeing handed over the last of the five AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF), completing the contract for 22 Apaches.

About

  • India contracted 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters from Boeing through the Foreign Military Sales programme of the U.S. government in September 2015 under a $3 billion deal.
  • The IAF inducted the first batch of Apaches in September 2019 and based them at Air Force Station, Pathankot, Punjab.
    • While the last five Apaches arrived in India early this year, the handover was slightly delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • The Apaches were deployed at the Leh airbase as part of the forward movement of assets, amid the stand-off with China in Ladakh.
  • Earlier, in March, Boeing handed over the last five of the 15 CH-47F (I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF.

AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter

  • It will replace the Mi-35 fleet.
  • Alongside the capability to shoot fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, rockets, and other ammunition, it also has modern EW [electronic warfare] capabilities to provide versatility to the helicopter in network-centric aerial warfare.
  • The helicopter is capable of delivering a variety of weapons which include air to ground Hellfire missiles, 70 mm Hydra rockets, and air to air Stinger missiles.
  • Apache also carries one 30 mm chain gun with 1200 rounds as part of the area weapon subsystem.
  • To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries fire control radar, which has 360° coverage and nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
  • It has an improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System that provides day, night, and all-weather target information, as well as night vision navigation capability.
  • It can be sued for multi missions like for reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, apart from attack operations.

CH-47F (I) Chinook Heavy-lift Helicopters

  • It is a heavy lift, tandem rotor helicopter that serves armed forces of 19 countries. It will greatly enhance IAF's HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) capability.
  • The Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide support to the Indian armed forces during disaster relief, medical evacuation, search and rescue missions, aircraft recovery, and parachute drops.
  • Each Chinook can carry goods and cargo weighing up to 9.6 tonnes. This includes men and machines—like artillery guns and light armoured vehicles—to high altitudes.
  • The Chinook contains a fully integrated, Digital Cockpit Management System, Common Aviation Architecture Cockpit, and advanced cargo-handling capabilities.
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