iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Boeing, the US aerospace giant delivered a total of 37 helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The final 5 of the 22 Apache attack helicopters were handed over to the IAF at Air Force Station, Hindon.
The fleet has now been part of the assets deployed in key airbases along the Line of Actual Control, officials said on Friday.
This purchase came after clash between India and China in the LAC border.
India is one of 17 nations to select the Apache and has opted for the most advanced version of the attack helicopter. The variant ordered by the IAF is also operational in the United States and many other nations.
The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army. The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, primarily used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel.
India finalized a multi-billion-dollar contract with Boeing to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks for the IAF in September 2015.
The attack helicopter is highly suited for reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack in various environments and conditions.
Twenty defense forces around the world have bought Chinooks. Considered the world’s most reliable and efficient heavy-lift helicopter, Chinook can operate in any kind of climatic conditions including altitude.
“With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defense forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,” said Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defense India. India is one of 17 nations to select the Apache and has the most advanced variant, the AH-64E Apache.
Defense and security ties between India and the US have been on an upswing in the last six years. The bilateral defense trade touched USD 18 billion mark in 2019, reflecting growing defense cooperation between the two sides.
In June 2016, the US had designated India a “Major Defense Partner,” intending to elevate defense trade and technology sharing with New Delhi to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners.
In a statement, Boeing said the AH-64E Apache has an improved modernized target acquisition designation system that provides day and night target tracking systems.
“In addition to classifying air and ground targets, the fire control radar has been updated to operate in the maritime environment. It is uniquely suited to meet a commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack, across myriad environments – without reconfiguration,” the Boeing said.
Earlier this year, India and the US signed a contract for the acquisition of six Apaches for the Indian Army during President Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi. Boeing’s joint venture with Tata in Hyderabad has been producing aero-structures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter for both US Army and international customers.