The Indian Air Force is preparing to take delivery of its first batch of Boeing’s new AH-64E Apache Guardian twin-engine attack helicopters, with the company saying its set to start deliveries in July 2019.

The Indian government placed an order for 22 of the new-build attack helicopters in September 2015, in a deal worth $1.4 billion (USD). Additionally, India have also placed an order for 15 Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift tactical transport helicopters. The AH-64E and CH-47F are the most modernised and recent versions of each type. The combined deal for the Apache and Chinook aircraft is worth roughly $3 billion (USD). Deliveries have already started with India’s new CH-47F helicopters.

David Koopersmith, who is the Vice President and General Manager for Boeing Vertical Lift, a division of Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) said: “We are on plan to deliver the first of 22 Apache starting July. This will give significant combat capabilities [to the Indian Air Force].” The announcement was made at Aero India 2019.

The aircraft have been produced as part of a joint venture between the US-based Boeing and India’s Tata, a partnership known as Tata-Boeing Aerospace, with the AH-64E’s fuselage being manufactured at their joint facility in Hyderabad in India’s Talangana state. The facility manufactures roughly eight fuselages a month.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache entered service in April 1986. The successful attack helicopter quickly made a name for itself during combat in Operation Desert Storm. India are one of the most recent nations to acquire the AH-64, joining Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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By Khalem Chapman [24/02/2019]