New Delhi, July 20: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is likely to receive the first batch of Apache AH-64E attack helicopters by the end of this month. The helicopters will reach Hindon Airbus in Ghaziabad. There will be around three to four choppers in the batch. Chinook Helicopters Join Indian Air Force Fleet; Here's All You Need To Know About The CH-47F Heavy-Lift Chopper.
According to a report published in DNA, the helicopters will arrive at Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad on an AN 224 transport aircraft on July 27. These choppers will be prepared at the airbase before sending them to Pathankot for formal induction into the IAF. The first squadron of Apache helicopters will be stationed at Pathankot Airbase.
According to the report, Group Captain M Shaylu will command the squadron. Currently, 125 Helicopter Squadron of Mi-35 choppers is also stationed at Pathankot. The second squadron will be stationed at Jorhat Airbase of Assam, reported DNA.
In May this year, The United States’ aerospace major Boeing handed the first AH-64E (I) - Apache Guardian helicopter to the IAF in Mesa of USA’s Arizona. Air Marshal AS Butola, accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility. Representatives from the US Government were also present.
In 2015, India signed a $ 3 billion deal to buy 22 Apache and 15 Chinook helicopters with Boeing and the government of the United States. The Indian government signed a direct contract with the Boeing to procure Chinook helicopters, while the deal to buy Apache helicopters is a mixed one. A part of the deal was signed with the US aviation company, and the other half is signed with the US government under the foreign military sales route.
The IAF inducted the first batch of four CH-47F Chinook helicopters in its fleet in Chandigarh. With this, the Chinook helicopters became a part of the 126 Helicopter Squadron, which currently operates the last of the Mi-26 heavy-lift choppers.