A second batch of four Boeing ‘AH-64E(I)’ Apache Guardian helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) arrived at the Hindon Air Force Station (AFS) on the outskirts of New Delhi on 30 July.
A Boeing spokesperson told Jane’s on 7 August that the four twin-engined rotorcraft, which are part of a USD2.02 billion order placed by the service for 22 of these platforms in 2015, were flown from the United States to India aboard an Antonov An-124 ‘Condor’ strategic airlifter and have joined an equal number of Apache Guardians that were similarly delivered to the same location on 27 July.
Boeing said all eight platforms were delivered a few weeks before schedule, adding that delivery of the remaining 14 Apache Guardians is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Official IAF sources said the delivered Apaches are being assembled and flight-tested at Hindon AFS before being officially handed over to the IAF by the end of August.
Thereafter, the IAF is expected to fly the aircraft to Pathankot AFS, which is located close to India’s border with Pakistan, for their formal induction into the service in early September.
Senior IAF officers said that a squadron of 10 Apache helicopters will be based at Pathankot, while a second squadron is expected to be stationed in northeastern India, close to the country’s disputed border with China.
The remaining two Apaches will be held as reserves in the event of accidents or combat losses, they added.
India ordered the Apaches in a deal that combined a Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) with Boeing and a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the US government.
The DCS part of the procurement includes the platforms (without engines and sensors), logistical support, spares, and after-sales service.