August 17, 2017 7:55:39 pm
The Defence Ministry on Thursday cleared a proposal to procure six Apache attack helicopters for the Indian army at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore. Said to be among one of world’s most advanced helicopters, AH-64 Apache is also used by the US Army among armed forces of other countries. Also known as Apache Guardian, this is a multi-role combat helicopter that can function smoothly in any weather and any point of time including night. The chopper is primarily designed to help the ground troops and is said to be ‘lethal’ when it comes to destroying enemy tankers.
Apache 64-A is a four-blade, twin-turboshaft helicopter with a nose-mounted sensor suite that makes target acquisition simpler. The laser, infrared, and other systems makes the helicopter capable of locating, tracking, and attacking targets. It also has a combination of laser-guided precision Hellfire missiles, 70mm rockets, and a 30mm automatic cannon with up to 1,200 high-explosive, dual-purpose ammunition rounds.
The attack helicopter has a maximum cruise speed of 284 km per hour. With a height of 15.24 ft and wing span of 17.15 ft, the helicopter has a flight speed of more than 150 knots. This implies that the helicopter can travel up to 279 kilometers per hour. The air-to-air missiles fitted in the chopper give it an edge over the other enemy helicopters. It also has a major systems redundancy to improve combat survivability. The AH-64E Apache has the ability to control unmanned aerial vehicles. The self-sealing fuel system in the chopper protects it against the loss of fuel, making it handy in case of a war. According to its maker Boeing, the AH 64 is capable of classifying and prioritizing of up to 128 targets in less than 60 seconds.
United States is the primary operator of Apache. The chopper is operational in other countries like Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. India, initially had ordered 22 choppers in the month of September. The proposal for six choppers was finally cleared at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today.
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