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IAF receives first Apache attack helicopter in US

The Indian Air Force on Friday received its first Apache Guardian attack helicopter at a Boeing production facility in Arizona, United States.

Air Marshal AS Butola attended the handover ceremony on behalf of the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache, while representatives from the US government were also present.

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In September 2015, IAF had signed a contract with US Government and Boeing Limited for 22 Apache helicopters.

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 training facilities in the US Army base of Fort Rucker, Alabama. These personnel will lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.

The addition of AH-64 E (I) Apache Guardian helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of IAF's helicopter fleet. It has been customized to suit the force's future requirements and would have significant capability in mountainous terrain with the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.

The aircraft can transmit and receive battlefield pictures to and from the weapon systems through data networking making it a lethal acquisition. These helicopters will provide a significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.