Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Apache choppers need integration with ground forces: Experts

New Delhi: With 22 Apache helicopters set to join the Indian Air Force (IAF) by March 2020, defence experts have raised the need for integrating the multi-role combat choppers with ground forces for better operational capabilities, logistics and training.
Eight units of the US-made combat helicopter Apache AH64E (I) -- where 'I' stands for India-specific enhancements -- were inducted into the 25 Squadron of the IAF in Pathankot in September. India has entered into a multi-billion contract with US aviation major Boeing in September 2015 for acquiring 22 Apache choppers in flyaway condition.
Subsequently, the central government signed another contract worth Rs 4,168 crore for acquiring six Apache choppers for the Army.
The choppers for the IAF are being delivered to India in phases. "Four additional choppers have subsequently been delivered after the induction of the first batch of eight helicopters into the IAF. Five more choppers will be delivered in December this year. The last installment of five choppers will be delivered in March next year. For the Army, the process of evaluating the six acquisitions is underway," a Boeing spokesperson told IANS.
The choppers, known as 'Tank Killers', provide close air support to armoured formations and ground forces by flying at 'tree-top heights'.
In advanced militaries across the globe, including the US and the UK, the Apache choppers have been inducted into the Army.
15/10/19 IANS/Economic Times

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