SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The first batch of 22 AH-64E attack helicopter ordered by India in 2015 for its air force has started initial trials in Boeing facility in Mesa, Arizona, United States. First Apache helicopter meant for India reportedly had its first low-level hover flight this month on 16th and will continue to carry out initial trials.
But India will only get the first AH-64E attack helicopter in March next year and it is likely whole order will be concluded in next two years and more helicopters meant for India will join initial trials after completion of their assembly.
Indian Army recently placed orders for Six AH-64E attack helicopter which will be brought under follow-on option to the 2015 contract but this time will be under the Army Aviation Corps (AAC). Previously, AAC had requested for 39 AH-64E attack helicopter from Ministry of Defence (MOD) but Indian Air Force put up a strong opposition to their request and this tussle of ownership has ensured that while Indian Army paid for 22 Apache Helicopters ordered earlier it will be operated by Indian Air Force under direct command of Indian Army to provide heavy anti-armour capabilities in the battlefield in support of Indian Army.
While this time the Indian Army was able to get controls of the Six Attack helicopters ordered it will be difficult to take ownership of 22 Apache helicopter which will be inducted into Indian Air Force. Deliveries of Army ordered Apache attack helicopter is likely to start from 2021 onwards.
NOTE : Article cannot be reproduced without written permission of idrw.org in any form