IAF selects Apache Longbow combat chopper
New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has selected Boeing’s Apache Longbow advanced attack helicopter for its combat chopper tender.
RIA Novosti news agency reported from Moscow Tuesday that the other competitor, Russia’s Mi-28N Night Hunter, had lost the competition.
It quoted an unnamed Indian defence ministry source as saying that the US helicopter showed better performance while the Russian machine did not meet the tender requirements.
There was no confirmation here but well placed sources told India Strategic defence magazine that IAF’s assessment report had been accepted. No details were given.
IAF has a tender for 22 combat helicopters with no options. But more would be required and should be ordered once the first few machines are delivered.
According to Lt Gen (retd) BS Pawar, a noted authority on combat helicopters, Apache is far more advanced than other attack helicopter worldwide. It has executed successful missions in Afghanistan.
Notably, the US is known to have much better Electronic Warfare capability than perhaps any other nation.
The Apache has the capability to detect 256 moving targets in speed, distance and direction and engage them as required.
The twin-engine tandem seat Apache is operated by two pilots, and can execute an attack within 30 seconds of an alert.
It is equipped with Northrop Grumman’s highly sophisticated millimeter wave Longbow fire control radar and Lockheed Martin’s Hellfire and Raytheon’s Stinger missiles. The Block III is the latest version being delivered to the US Army from this year.
Apache has a strong shell made of composite fibres to protect the pilots and sensitive components from bullets.
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