Boeing AH-64 Apache - India

Boeing AH-64 Apache
The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. Used by the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defense forces, India is that the 16th nation to pick the Apache.

In 2019, the Indian Air Force inducted 17 (against an order of 22) AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. The Ministry of Defence, Government of India is in the process of evaluating the acquisition of an additional six Apaches for the Indian Army.

The AH-64E is a complicated multi-mission helicopter with the newest technology insertions, maintaining its standing because of the world’s best attack helicopter. It is the sole available combat helicopter with a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement, including greater thrust and lifts, joint digital operability, improved survivability, and cognitive decision aiding.

Readers may note that the deal worth $1.4 billion was signed in September 2015. A venture between Tata and Boeing Co, Tata Boeing AerospaceLimited, is manufacturing fuselage of the Apache helicopters at a facility in Hyderabad. In July 2018, Boeing's former India director Pratyush Kumar had said that India would get the foremost advanced variant of the AH-64E Apache. In this video Defense Talks analyzes why India is buying 22 AH-64E Apache from the U.S? Let's get into the details. 


The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter. It is considered to be one of the best in the world. It saw the first flight on 30 September 1975 and was introduced in April 1986. It has a cockpit for a crew of two. The crew sits in tandem that is the pilot seats behind and above the co-pilot or gunner. Importantly both can fly the helicopter and perform other operations like weapon engagements independently. 

The AH-64 Apache features a four-blade rotor and a four-blade anti-torque rotor. It has a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night-sight systems. The AH-64 has significant systems redundancy to increase combat survivability. Apache has been engineered to be maneuverable for close-range combat as well as have the capability to cover a good area of the battlefield quickly. AH-64E Apache is nicked named the ‘Guardian’ and is the successor of AH-64D that had the moniker of ‘Longbow’. ‘Longbow’ upgrade mounted an APG-78 radar above the rotor and this allowed the gunship to detect and fire at ground targets even outside of the line of sight. But it also had a negative impact. 

The weight is increased by 15% and affected the performance. ‘Guardian' variant is able to regain the lost performance by having a more powerful engine, a better transmission system, and rotor blades made of composite materials that are lighter. The AH-64E variant is powered by the General Electric T700-701D engine that produces 1,994 shp (1,487 kW). It has a maximum speed of 158 knots (182 mph, 293 km/h). AH-64E has an operational range of 257 nmi (295 mi, 476 km). As per reports, the loitering time has also increased by more than 50%. One of the important aspects that lead India to acquire it was an excellent service ceiling since India’s border with Pakistan & China are at high altitude. 

The AH-64 has a maximum vertical rate of climb of 1,775 feet per minute (541 m/min), and a service ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 m). One of the revolutionary features of the Apache is its helmet-mounted display called the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System or IHADSS. Various sensors and avionics allow for target detection in day & night. There are also passive infrared countermeasures and GPS. 


Apache has a wide set of weapons to neutralize different kinds of threats. One 30 mm M230 Chain Gun with 1,200 rounds are present in the front. Either the pilot or gunner can use this gun by just pointing it to the target and firing. This is possible due to IHADSS and makes attacking with the gun a very intuitive and seamless experience. 
4 Hardpoints are present, that can be equipped with the following 
  1. The Hydra 70 rocket which is a 2.75-inch fin-stabilized unguided rocket. It is mainly used for air-to-ground attacks. It has a range of 8 km or 5 miles. 
  2. Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) 70 mm which is an upgrade of Hydra 70. It has a laser guidance kit to turn them into precision-guided munitions.  
  3. AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile. Its variant can be deployed for anti-armor use as well as precision strikes against other target types. The maximum range of this missile is 11 km to 7 miles. 
  4. AIM-92 Stinger Air To Air missile. It has a range of 8 km or 5 miles. A standard configuration for the Anti Armor mission will have 16 Hellfire missiles on four four-rail launchers. 
Each is capable of taking out a tank. Covering Force mission configuration will have 8 Hellfire missiles along with 38 Hydra or APKWS rockets whereas Escort mission will have 76 Hydra or APKWS. Air to Air missile will be loaded for specific scenarios. 


Apache as a platform is a proven one and has seen action in many theaters of war. Apache helicopters will enable the Indian forces to target ground and aerial threats both on the eastern and western borders of the country. Specifically, Apaches could be used to blunt any armor thrust. A single Apache could take out multiple tanks and supporting armored vehicles. 4 AH-64E Apache can carry 4 * 16, that is 64 Hellfire missile, that is enough to obliterate a decent-sized amour force. It is clear that 22 AH-64E Apache will be a great capability enhancement for Indian Forces.

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