The first Apache AH 64E attack helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, US, on Friday.
This is the first attack copter acquired from the US. The IAF currently uses the Soviet/Russian origin Mi25/Mi35 copters. These are tasked with tank formations. Air Marshal AS Butola represented the IAF and accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at the Boeing production facility; representatives from the US government were also present, the IAF said.
The IAF had signed a contract with the US Government and Boeing in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July.
Selected air and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at the US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.