New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) 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.
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.
These helicopters will provide 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.
The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July.
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.