The Indian Air Force has received the first Apache Guardian helicopter from US aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. India had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US in September 2015, for 22 of these helicopters. The attack helicopter has been customised to suit Indian Air Force’s future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain.
The main features of the latest variant of the Apache fleet includes improved digital connectivity and powerful engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power.
• The helicopter has the capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), full IFR capability, and improved landing gear.
• It has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
• The helicopter also has the ability to transmit and receive the battlefield picture, to and from the weapon systems through data networking, which makes it a lethal acquisition.
• Further, the helicopter has an oversea capacity and is fit for maritime operations, potentially enabling naval strikes.
• The helicopter will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.
• A select air and ground crew of the Indian Air Force have undergone training at the training facilities at the US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama.
• The trained personnel would be given the responsibility to lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.
The Indian Air Force had signed a contract with US Government and M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.