Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa presided over as the chief guest in the formal induction ceremony of Apache AH-64E attack helicopters at Pathankot Airbase on Tuesday. He inducted eight Apache helicopters at the ceremony as a replacement of the 'ageing Mi-35'. He explained the capabilities of the new helicopters and called it one of the most 'fierce attack helicopters' in the world. About eight helicopters were formally inducted by the IAF on Tuesday morning and a total of 22 helicopters will be coming in a phased manner.
The Air Chief Marshal addressed the people during the induction ceremony and said, “The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been flying helicopters since 1954. We first inducted Sikorsky S-55 in a newly raised 104 helicopter flight and since then there has been no looking back for the rotary wings. These helicopters have proved their level in various missions worldwide. Apache helicopter is being purchased to replace the aging Mi-35. The newly inducted Apache helicopters are advanced multi-missionary helicopters that have been operated worldwide by the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, and many other countries.”
#NewInduction: Glimpses of AH-64E Apache attack helicopter's maiden flight at AFS Hindan.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 2, 2019
The helicopter is planned to be inducted into the IAF on 03 Sep 19 at AFS Pathankot. pic.twitter.com/UYiSrEfOsg
The Apache helicopter has a 14-missile carrying capacity and it is easily operable in the night. The Air Chief Marshal said, “The Apache helicopters have been flying since the beginning of the 1980s and it has proved itself an operational success across the globe. It’s one of the most fierce attack helicopters in the world. Along with the capability to shoot, fire and forget anti-tank, it has an air to air missile capability which gives us air to air mission. The fire control radar on the helicopter gives us tremendous capability along with data sharing whereas this helicopter operates as a team.” The IAF Twitter handle also shared the glimpses of the arrival of the first batch of Apache helicopters in July.
As per the IAF tradition, water cannons were used to welcome the new helicopters and a priest performed rituals on the arrival of the helicopters. The Air Chief Marshal further said, "It (Apache AH-64E) can perform many missions, from the special Heli-borne operations to the separation of enemy air defense and battlefield air strike roles. It has been a part of numeric historical campaigns worldwide. Today with the induction of Apache AH-64E IAF has upgraded its inventory to the latest generation attack helicopters. In September 2015 we signed a contract to deliver 22 Apache helicopters and these helicopters have been modified to exact the standards demanded by the IAF.”