The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally received its first AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter at Boeing’s facility in Arizona, United States.
“First AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian helicopter was formally handed over to the IAF at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA on 10 May 19. Air Marshal AS Butola, represented the IAF & accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility,” the IAF tweeted Saturday morning.
According to the IAF, the first batch of the “customized” helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July this year. Selected aircrew & ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama.
The AH-64Es, also known as Apaches, are helicopters that can carry AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. They have four blades and are rotary-winged.
India and the US signed the nearly (INR 13,952 crore) $2 billion deal for 22 AH-64E choppers for the IAF in September 2015. Deliveries of all the aircraft are scheduled to be completed in 2020.
According to a PTI report, the defence ministry has additionally approved the procurement of six AH-64E Apache helicopters, armaments, and associated equipment from Boeing at a cost of INR 4,168 crore ($596 million) for the Army.