Defence News India: A brand new Apache AH-64E helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) made an emergency landing in a field in the Hoshiarpur district in Punjab on Friday. The combat helicopter manufactured by US defence and aerospace major Boeing was inducted in the force in September last year.
The helicopter had taken off from its home base in Pathankot near the Pakistan border and it experienced a problem after flying for nearly one hour.
“The helicopter, after approximately 1 hour of flying, had indications of a critical failure and carried out a safe landing west of Indora, Punjab,” IAF said in a statement.
IAF said the captain of the aircraft took correct and prompt actions to recover the helicopter safely and the crew was safe.
“The aircraft will be recovered after necessary rectification,” said the IAF.
Boeing’s Apache AH-64E attack helicopter
Apache AH-64E attack helicopters, manufactured by the US defence major Boeing, are known as tank killers and the IAF force has deployed them near Pakistan border.
In September 2015, India signed an over Rs 13,951 crore deal to acquire 22 Apaches. The first batch of advanced combat helicopter was inducted in the Indian Air Force in September last year, four years after the signing of the deal.
Indian Air Force has so far received 17 of total 22 Apache helicopters and the remaining 5 Apaches are expected to be inducted in the force by year-end.
Army to get 6 Boeing Apache helicopters
In February this year, India signed another $800 million deal to acquire 6 more Apaches during US President Donald Trump’s maiden India visit.
During the visit, India also signed another deal to acquire 24 MH-60 R Romeo Seahawk helicopters for the Indian Navy in a $2.2 billion deal.
India has so far signed three helicopter deals with the US. While Apache AH-64E and Chinook CH-47F(I) helicopters acquired by India are manufactured by Boeing Defence & Space, Seahawk multi-role helicopters are manufactured by another US defence & aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.