The first consignment of the Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) will reach Hindon Airbus in Ghaziabad by the end of this month, sources said.
It is likely that there will be three to four helicopters in this consignment. But the deployment of Apache’s first squadron in Pathankot will take another month. India has purchased 22 Apache helicopters from the United States.
According to sources, Apache helicopters will arrive at Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad on an AN 224 transport aircraft on July 27.
They will be prepared at the Hindon Airbase and in the last week of August will be sent to Pathankot for a formal induction into the IAF. The first squadron of the Apaches will be stationed at Pathankot and the first Commanding Officer will be Group Captain M Shaylu.
The IAF has the 125 Helicopter Squadron (125 H SQUADRON), already deployed at Pathankot, which currently flies the Mi-35 helicopters and will now host the country’s first Apache squadron. The second squadron will be stationed at Jorhat Airbase of Assam. It is likely that by 2020, the IAF will get all Apache helicopters on order.
The Apache AH-64E helicopter is equipped with a 30-mm machine gun, which can fire up to 1,200 rounds at a time. Apart from this, Apache is also equipped with the anti-tank Hellfire missile, which is believed to be capable of destroying a tank. As an additional weapon, a Hydra Unguided Rocket, capable of perfect execution of any target on land, is also installed. The helicopter can fly at a speed of 150 nautical miles per hour, which helps it to reach the enemy at a tremendous speed in the air.
The IAF currently uses decades-old Russian made Mi-35 and Mi-25 attack helicopters with one squadron stationed at Pathankot and another at Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The IAF also has Rudra attack helicopters developed out of the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter ‘Dhruv’. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is also producing the Light Combat Helicopters for the Air Force in the country.
CURRENT ASSETS ::
The IAF currently uses the decades-old Russian made Mi-35 and Mi-25 attack helicopters with one squadron stationed at Pathankot and another at Suratgarh in Rajasthan
Source - PTI