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11 May, 2019 10:03

India gets 1st Apache Guardian chopper, hails it as ‘significant step’ in IAF modernization

India gets 1st Apache Guardian chopper, hails it as ‘significant step’ in IAF modernization

The first of 22 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters has been officially handed over to India by Boeing during a ceremony in the US, with New Delhi saying it will give its forces a “significant edge” in potential conflicts.

Part of a $2.02 billion order made in 2015, the handover took place at the defense giant’s production facility in Mesa, Arizona on May 10. It was attended by senior India Air Force (IAF) officials who heralded the induction of the Apache Guardian as a “significant step” in the modernization of India’s chopper fleet. They added that Boeing had worked to customize the helicopter to meet Indian requirements that would give it “significant capability in mountainous terrain.”

The first batch of deliveries to New Delhi will take place in July this year and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. Aircrew and ground crew have already undergone training at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama, and will lead India’s Apache program once operational.

Also on rt.com Future guardians of India's borders: Behind the armor of Russian-designed T-90 tanks

A neutral shopper when it comes to buying defense kit, India’s military arsenal comprises a mix of Russian and Western-made arms. Last month India announced it would purchase 464 of Russia’s T-90 MS main battle tanks in a $1.93 billion deal.

New Delhi has also rebuffed US pressure to drop a planned purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Moscow, despite Washington’s threats to slap it with sanctions in return.
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