Above: The first Indian Air Force AH-64E(I), which made its maiden flight on July 16, 2018. Eight of the 22 on order have now arrived in India. Boeing
INDIA’S FIRST eight AH-64E(I) Apaches have arrived in the country after being airfreighted from the USA. An Antonov Airlines An-124 delivered the first four to Hindon Air Force Station (AFS), Uttar Pradesh, on July 27 after flying them from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Arizona, via Bangor, Maine. Following re-assembly and acceptance test flights, they were due to be flown to their permanent base at Pathankot AFS, Punjab. A further four of these helicopters arrived at Hindon on July 30, once again being transported by an An-124, both deliveries being several weeks ahead of schedule. They too were then due to follow the first four to Pathankot, where all eight are due to arrive before the end of August, prior to a formal induction ceremony which is scheduled to take place in early September.
As previously reported on Warnsey’s World, the first Indian Air Force (IAF) AH-64E(I) was officially handed-over during a ceremony at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, on May 10. This had made its maiden flight at Mesa on July 16 last year. The IAF signed a contract for 22 AH-64Es in September 2015. The remaining 14 will be delivered in 2020. The IAF will split the fleet between two squadrons – ten will be based at Pathankot with 125 ‘Gladiators’ Helicopter Squadron, which previously flew the Mi-35 Hind. Another ten are planned to be based with a second squadron that will be formed at Jorhat AFS, Assam, in northeastern India, near the border with China. The remaining two helicopters will be kept as attrition reserve aircraft.