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The Indian Air Force has received its first Apache Guardian attack helicopter.
The Apache Guardian attack helicopter was formally handed over to India on May 10 at the chopper production facility in Arizona, US. India signed a contract for 22 of the Apache Guardian choppers with the US in September 2015.
Air Marshal AS Butola, who represented the Indian Air Force, accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility where US government representatives were also present.
The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July.
Aircrew and ground crew have already undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These trained personnel will lead operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.
The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is seen as a significant step towards modernisation of the Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet.
The first Apache Guardian attack helicopter has been customised to suit IAF’s future requirements and will have significant capability in the mountainous terrain.
The helicopter has the capability to carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground.
These helicopters’ ability, to transmit and receive the battlefield picture to and from the weapon systems through data networking, makes it a lethal acquisition.
These attack helicopters will also provide a significant edge in future joint operations in support of land forces.