Jammu, Aug 31: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa will be inducting US made "APACHE AH64E" on September 3 at Pathankot based Air Force Station.
"The Indian Air Force is organising induction ceremony of "APACHE AH 64E Helicopter” at Air Force Station, Pathankot (Punjab) on September 3," defence spokesman here said on Saturday.
He said that Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) who will be the Chief Guest at the event and will induct the helicopter into the family of IAF. This is being seen as a significant step towards modernising the IAF fleet. As per sources, four Apache helicopters are to be stationed at the Pathankot Air Force Station, which is considered to be the prime airbase -- just a few miles away from Indo-Pak border.
However, there are talks that fighter pilot Abhinandan, who shot down a Pakistani F16 when India had launched airstrikes at terror camps in Pakistan, may fly a MIG from the Pathankot Air Force Station that day but there was no official confirmation on his participation at the event.
Armed with fire-and-forget Hellfire missiles, the Apache attack choppers can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritise threats. According to sources, the army is also in the process of buying six Apache attack helicopters from the US.The Apache choppers will be the second US-built helicopters to join the air force fleet.
The induction of these Apache helicopters comes at a time when the tensions between the two South Asian neighbours are high since the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. (UNI)