NEW DELHI: US aviation giant Boeing on Friday formally handed over the first of 22 Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The AH-64E (I)—Apache Guardian helicopter, customized to suit Indian requirements, was handed over to Air Marshal AS Butola at Boeing’s production facility at Mesa in Arizona. The handover ceremony also featured representatives of the US government.
The first batch of the helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July this year.— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 11, 2019
Selected aircrew & ground crew have undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama.
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The cost of buying the choppers, which have stealth capabilities and can engage targets both in the air and on the ground, was pegged at $1.4 billion. While the first batch of these choppers is scheduled to land in India by this July, selected air and ground crew had been undergoing training at a US Army base in Fort Rucker, Alabama, since October 2018.
The IAF released a statement saying, “The addition of AH-64 E (I) helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet. The helicopter would have significant capability in mountainous terrain.”