Apache Helicopters for Indian Army

Why in News

The deal for six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Army is to be signed.

  • Currently, the Army Aviation Corps operates only smaller Cheetah and ALH (Advanced Light Helicopters) that weigh less than five tonnes.
  • These are in addition to 22 Apaches being inducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) which will replace the Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters in service.

AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter

  • Better known as an attack helicopter are received from the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA.
  • These are all-weather capable, easily maintainable and have high agility and survivability against battle damage.
  • The capabilities of the AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter includes:
    • It can carry out precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
    • It can transmit and receive battlefield picture through data uplinking and networking.
    • It can also shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets while providing versatility to helicopter in network-centric aerial warfare.
    • It also carries fire control radar, which has a 360° coverage and nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
  • The addition of the Apache Attack Helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force helicopter fleet and the Indian Army.

Cheetah Helicopters

  • The Cheetah Helicopter is a high-performance helicopter designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • It is identical to LAMA SA 315B Helicopter of Eurocopter, France.
  • It is a five-seater multi-role, multi-purpose, highly manoeuvrable helicopter.
  • It holds the world record in high altitude flying among all categories of Helicopters.
  • The helicopter is suitable for commuting, observation, surveillance, logistics support, rescue operations and high altitude missions.

Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV)

  • The indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV) is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter in the 5.5-ton weight class.
  • The major variants of Dhruv are classified as Dhruv Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III & Mk-IV.

Source: TH