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IAF receives first AH-64E Apache attack helicopter

Adding teeth:Air Marshal A.S. Butola addressing the gathering after accepting the first Apache helicopter on Friday.PTI  

The first AH-64E Apache attack helicopter built for India was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona in the U.S. on Saturday.

The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July this year.

“Selected aircrew and ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at U.S. Army base Fort Rucker in Alabama. These personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF,” the IAF said in a statement.

The Air Force had contracted 22 Apache helicopters from the U.S. Govt and Boeing in September 2015.

The helicopter has been customised to suit IAF’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain. “The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground,” the IAF said, adding that the ability of the helicopters, to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems makes it a lethal acquisition.

(With PTI inputs)