The Indian Air Force command received the last batch of five AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian attack helicopters, which were ordered by Boeing in 2015.
According to British magazine Janes, the helicopters were handed over to the Indian Air Force on July 5 at the Hindan Air Force Base (Uttar Pradesh, India) after delivering on board the An-124 at the end of June.
Last year, the Indian Air Force took 17 of the 22 ordered AH-64E (I) Apache helicopters. The remaining five were planned to be delivered to India by the end of March 2020, but the supply of helicopters was delayed due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Indian media reports, the delivery of the last batch of helicopters was accelerated by the Indian government amid worsening relations with China after clashes between Indian and Chinese units on June 15 in the area of the “Line of actual control.”
To quickly put the AH-64E (I) Apache into operation, the Indian government exempted all Boeing technical specialists from compulsory quarantine for foreigners due to COVID-19. This allowed us to quickly re-assemble the helicopters, the joint procedure for receiving and transmitting the Air Force for possible deployment in the area of the “Actual Control Lines”.
New helicopters will replenish the fleet previously sent to the area from the Pathankot air base (Punjab) AH-64E (I) Apache.
It should be noted that after the aggravation of the situation in the border areas with China, the Indian government accelerated the implementation of arms procurement projects from both national and foreign manufacturers.
As TsAMTO reported, contracts worth $ 3.1 billion for the supply of 22 AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook helicopters were signed by the Indian Ministry of Defense in September 2015.
The contract for the purchase of AH-64E Apache worth 139.5 billion rupees (2.02 billion dollars) included an option for the supply of 11 additional cars. The Apache acquisition project is a combination of direct commercial contracts and procurement under the Foreign Military Sales program.
The official ceremony of transferring the first AH-64E (I) helicopter to the Indian Air Force took place at the Boeing Corporation in Mesa (Arizona) on May 10, 2019. The first four AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian were delivered to the Hindon base on July 27, 2019. By the end of the year 17 helicopters were delivered.
AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian will be based at Pathankot (Punjab) and Jorhat (Assam) air bases. Each squadron will include 10 helicopters, two more will remain in reserve in case of loss.
In February 2020, during a visit to India by US President Donald Trump, the United States and India entered into a new agreement for the supply of military helicopters with a total value of more than $3 billion.
They envisage the sale of 24 Indian MH-60R helicopters with a total value of $ 2.6 billion and six AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian to the aviation corps of the Ground Forces in the amount of about 800 million dollars.
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