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Ahead of delivery, Army raises Apache attack chopper squadron


NEW DELHI: Ahead of the


of six

Apache attack helicopters

from the US from May onwards, the


on Friday raised the


for the heavy-duty choppers at Jodhpur along the western front with Pakistan.
The Apache squadron was raised in the presence of Army Aviation’s director general Lt-General Ajay Suri and other officials. “The delivery was to commence from February, but it has been slightly delayed.

The first three Apaches will now come in May,” an officer said.
The IAF has already inducted 22 of the Boeing-manufactured Apache helicopters under the Rs 13,952 crore deal inked with the US in September 2015. The Army, in turn, will get six choppers under the Rs 5,691 crore deal inked in February 2020.
Dubbed “tanks in the air”, the Apaches are armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles, Hellfire Longbow air-to-ground missiles, guns and rockets. “The Apaches are primarily meant to provide integrated combat aviation cover for the `strike corps’ of the Army,” the officer said.

The Army and the IAF are also slated to induct 156 indigenous Prachand light combat helicopters, which are capable of offensive operations in high-altitude areas like Siachen Glacier and eastern Ladakh, in the years ahead. They will add to the 15 such choppers (10 IAF and 5 Army) already inducted under the first Rs 3,887 crore contract for them.

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