An AH-64E Apache attack helicopter operated by the Indian Air Force has made an emergency landing in a field in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab on April 17.
A brand new Apache helicopter of the Indian Air Force has made an emergency landing in a field in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. 22 Apaches were ordered by India for the IAF in a $1.1 billion deal, the first of which were inducted in September, last year. pic.twitter.com/o6qxir4Mm2
— Vishnu Som (@VishnuNDTV) April 17, 2020
According to an IAF statement, the Apache helicopter took off Pathankot Air Force Station and after around one hour of flying showed indications of a critical failure which led to a safe landing west of Indora, Punjab.
The statement added that the pilots on board the helicopter are safe and there has been no damage to any property. The aircraft will be recovered after necessary rectification.
This is the first such incident involving the Indian Apache fleet.
In 2015, India had placed the $3.1 billion order for 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopters to be procured for its Air Force from Boeing through U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.
In July 2018, the first AH-64E Apache attack helicopter built for the IAF conducted its maiden flight at Boeing’s AH-64 Apache manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona in the USA.
On May 10, 2019, the Indian Air Force formally took delivery of its first Apache during a ceremony at Boeing’s production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA. During that ceremony, Air Marshal A.S. Butola, Commandant of Air Force Academy (AFA) Dundigal, represented the IAF and accepted the first Apache helicopter.
The first batch of four helicopters arrived in the country on July 27 while the second batch of four arrived on July 30. Following the assembly and flight-testing at Hindon Air Force Station, the eight helicopters arrived at its home, Pathankot AFS. The helicopters were inducted into the IAF service in September.