Indian Army inaugurates first Apache attack-helicopter squadron in Jodhpur

Team India Sentinels Friday 15th of March 2024 10:48 AM

Apache-64E. (Photo courtesy: Boeing Defense)

Jodhpur/New Delhi: The Indian Army raised its first dedicated squadron for Apache attack helicopters at the Jodhpur Air Force Station, on Friday. The move is seen as a significant bolstering of the Army’s defence capabilities in the western sector bordering Pakistan.

The squadron, formed under the Army Aviation Corps, will be equipped with a fleet of AH-64E Apache helicopters, which has advanced weaponry and other battlefield capabilities. The first batch of three Apaches is expected to arrive in May, with the next three within a short time.

Briefing reporters during the squadron’s inauguration event, Lieutenant General Ajay Kumar Suri, director general of AAC, said, “The induction of Apaches is a major step forward for the Army Aviation Corps. These helicopters will provide unmatched close air support and enhance our ability to conduct offensive operations effectively.”

The Apaches, manufactured by Boeing, are known as “tanks in the sky” due to their heavy armament. They are equipped with a 30mm chain gun, Hellfire missiles, and unguided rockets, providing a potent offensive punch. Their advanced sensor technology and night-fighting capabilities make them formidable assets in diverse combat scenarios.

The deployment of Apaches complements the Indian Air Force’s existing fleet of 22 Apaches, further strengthening India’s airpower.

Apart from the Apache induction, the AAC has been expanding its capabilities. Last year, it welcomed the indigenously developed Prachand light combat helicopters (LCH) at Missamari, Assam, as India Sentinels had reported then.

The LCH complements the existing utility helicopters like the Dhruv and Chetak. Military experts believe the Apaches will play a crucial role in deterring border transgressions and providing close air support to ground troops during high-intensity conflicts.

The induction of the Apache squadron marks a new chapter in India’s defence preparedness, signalling a robust response to evolving regional security challenges.


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