Thursday, May 14, 2015

Apache AH 64 D Block III

Apache AH 64 D Block III

   Apache AH 64 D Block III

Another addition to the stables of the Indian Air force, it’s the American Apache attack helicopters this time which promise to annihilate the enemies at their tracks. These Apache’s will be replacing the Soviet era attack helicopter the Mi 35 Hind. The deal was in turbulent waters since the last decade and has finally arrived at a solution after much delay. IN the mean time owing to the delays an MLU was signed to modernise the aging Mi’s. They were provided with additional upgrades which concentrated mainly on the avionics, the Mi’s received new sensor suites and DIRCM countermeasure suites owing to these upgrades the Mi’s are battle ready till 2025. The void left by these attach helicopters is huge and the Apache’s promise to fill this cap efficiently thus serving as the back bone for any offensive operations in the future.

When the tenders were floated for procuring a rotary attack platform the Apache and Mi 28 were the forerunners for the program. Apache’s state of the art The Apache ruled out the Russian attack helicopter Mi 28, with its superior performance and network. US has offered India the latest generation AH 64 D Longbow Block III series helicopters, which is also called as AH 64E. The Apache are one of the best products to be rolled out from the Boeing lines, there are nearly two thousand Apache’s serving nearly fifteen other nations throughout the globe.Though the Apache’s will be charged with providing CAS to the army they will still be operated under the IAF and will not be joining the Army aviation corps.

The current deal between the US and Indian government aims to field twenty two Apache helicopter under the Air force. India along with the helicopters will receive fifty additional engines, 1500 Hell fire missiles for anti armour operation, 250 Stinger missiles which will counter the aerial threats. India will also be provided with 12 addition fire control radar and 22 night vision equipments. The total deal is calculated to cost around $1.2 billion.

The Defence Ministry has also taken inputs from the Indian Army to raise a separate squadron of attack helicopters lead by AH 64 and the home grown LCH and ALH Rudra, Rudraarmed with unguided rockets have already been delivered to Army Aviation.

The AH 64 E is capable of guiding unmanned aerial vehicles from itself, the WCO can operate  any of the UAV's under the army, and can also uses its advanced JTDIS to guide the Artillery's to fire with pin point accuracy.

Apache is capable to fly low, and is an all weather helicopter that can make sorties even in the worst conditions. Equipped with state of the art Electronic countermeasures and defensive suites, any threats standing against these copters can be neutralized with a moment’s notice. The Infrared warning systems help Apache to carry out night missions without any major hindrance. Apache also uses thermal and IR camera, these technologies help the Apache serve as an eye in the sky. Apache's formed the first wave of attack in operation Desert Storm, flying low they destroyed several Iraqi early warning Radar sites.

       The deal will be finalized during the visit of Secretary of Defense, USA , Ash Carter. Boeing will deliver the helicopters by 2018 and the Apache's promise to be a force multiplier providing the crucial CAS to the infantry. 

Editor- Karthik Kakoor 

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