Aggressive air support is crucial for advancing ground troops in a short and intense war. Last week, the government also allowed the Army to make ‘emergency procurements’ without going into red-tapism, to be prepared for a ‘short intense war’.
According to officials privy to the development, Boeing, which manufactures these helicopters, will start delivering from early next year, and all 22 machines will be handed over to IAF in a time span of nine months. IAF has been asked to develop infrastructure, including hangers and helipads, to create base for these helicopters.
According to IAF, Apache will be the first pure attack helicopter in the Indian forces. The IAF already operates two squadrons of the Russian-origin Mi-25 and Mi-35 attack helicopters, which are deployed close to the frontlines on the Pakistan border. But these helicopters are on the verge of retirement and were designed only to carry troops into heavily defended territories.
Equipped with laser and infrared systems for all-weather, day-night operability, the Apache fires the Hellfire air-to-air missiles, besides its arsenal of 70 mm rockets and an automatic cannon. Apache helicopters are capable of detecting 256 moving targets and engaging them, the twin-engine Apache is operated by two pilots.
- The attack choppers can track up to 128 targets in a minute and prioritise threats
- Armed with fire-and-forget Hellfire missiles, besides its arsenal of 70 mm rockets and an automatic cannon.
- These missiles equip the helicopter gunships with heavy anti-armour capabilities
- The stealthy chopper is equipped with laser and infrared systems for all-weather, day-night operability
- Both crew members are capable of flying the aircraft and performing methods of weapon engagements independently.
New Indian Express