Security Concerns: (Apache Attack Helicopter)

Published on 04-Sept-2019 – Apache

Induction of Apache Attack Helicopter

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In News:

  • On 3rd September, the IAF formally inducted the AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter into its inventory at Air Force Station, Pathankot.
  • Apache attack helicopters are being purchased to replace the Mi-35 fleet.
  • IAF has signed a contract with ‘The Boeing Company’ and US Government for 22 Apache Attack Helicopters.
  • The first eight helicopters have been delivered on schedule and the last batch of helicopters is to be delivered by March 2020. These helicopters will be deployed in the Western regions of India.
Apache Helicopter
Apache Helicopter

Features of Apache:

  • To shoot fire and forget anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, rockets and other ammunition.
  • Modern EW capabilities to provide versatility to helicopter in network-centric aerial warfare.
  • Apaches have been an integral part of numerous historic campaigns worldwide.
  • These aircraft have been modified specifically to suit the exacting standards demanded by IAF.
  • The helicopter is capable of delivering a variety of weapons which include air to ground Hellfire missiles, 70 mm Hydra rockets and air to air Stinger missiles.
  • Also carries one 30 mm chain gun with 1200 rounds as part of area weapon subsystem.
  • To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries fire control radar, which has a 360° coverage and nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.


  • In 2015, India and US had signed a $3-billion deal for 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters for the Indian Air Force.
  • The entire fleet expected to be in service with the IAF by 2020.
  • Further, in June 2018, the US approved Foreign Military Sale 6 additional AH-64E Apache helicopters to Indian Army.
  • The Apaches started arriving in India in July this year and were then transported to the Air Force Station, Pathankot in Punjab.
  • 8 of the Apaches have now been inducted into the Indian Air Force.
  • Selected aircrew and ground crew had already undergone training at the training facilities at U.S. Army base Fort Rucker. These personnel would lead the operationalisation of the Apache fleet.

About India-US relations:

In the field of defense:

  • The U.S. has four “foundational” agreements that it signs with its defense partners as “routine instruments that the U.S. uses to promote military cooperation with partner-nations”.
  • American officials have stated that the agreements are not prerequisites for bilateral defense cooperation, but would make it simpler and more cost-effective to carry out activities such as refueling aircraft or ships in each other’s countries and providing disaster relief.
  • Following are the four agreements:
    1. General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA):
      • It was signed by India and the U.S. in 2002.
      • The agreement enables the sharing of military intelligence between the two countries and requires each country to protect the others’ classified information.
    2. Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA):
      • It was signed by the two countries on 29 August 2016.
      • The LEMOA permits the military of either country to use the others’ bases for re-supplying or carrying out repairs.
      • The agreement does not make the provision of logistical support binding on either country, and requires individual clearance for each request.
    3. Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA):
      • It was signed during the inaugural 2+2 dialogue in September 2018.
      • It is an India-specific variant of Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) that enables the two countries to share secure communication and exchange information on approved equipment during bilateral and multinational training exercises and operations.
    4. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA):
      • It has not yet been signed.
      • It permits the exchange of unclassified and controlled unclassified geospatial products, topographical, nautical, and aeronautical data, products and services between India and the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).


  • The addition of Apache Attack Helicopter is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force helicopter fleet.
  • This procurement will enhance the capability of IAF in providing integrated combat aviation cover to the army strike corps.
  • These tandem seating helicopters are day/night, all-weather capable and have high agility and survivability against battle damage.
  • These are easily maintainable even in field conditions and are capable of prolonged operations in tropical and desert regions.

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