India’s military aviation landscape is undergoing a transformation with the impending phasing out of the single squadron of Mi-35 attack helicopters from the Indian Air Force (IAF). This significant development comes as the IAF and the Indian Army Aviation Corps embrace modernization through the induction of advanced Apache attack helicopters from the United States.

The Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters have long served the Indian armed forces, providing firepower and operational support. However, with the acquisition of Apache helicopters, the IAF is poised to retire the Mi-35 fleet, marking a strategic shift in its aerial capabilities.

The IAF was previously equipped with two squadrons of the older Mi-25/35 attack helicopters, which played a vital role in various operational contexts. The retirement of one of these squadrons commenced after the induction of the Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in 2019-20.

The modernization drive doesn’t end with the IAF’s acquisition of Apaches. The Indian Army, recognizing the value of these cutting-edge helicopters, is set to receive its first batch of Apache helicopters in the next year.

In 2020, India signed a deal for an additional six Apache helicopters specifically for the Indian Army. Moreover, the Indian Army’s future plans include the procurement of six more Apache helicopters, Additionally, the Indian Army is exploring the acquisition of over 90 Prachand Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), a domestically developed platform that showcases India’s indigenous capabilities in the aerospace sector.

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