Official sources told India Strategic that the
Ministry of Defence (MoD) had accepted IAF's trial
report evaluating the Boeing AH 64D Apache and
Russian Rosoboronexports Mi 28N Night Hunter
but did not say which was the winning machine.
But RIA Novosti news agency reported from Moscow
that the Mi-28N had lost the competition, and
quoted an Indian source as saying that the US
helicopter showed better performance
while the Mi 28N did not meet the requirements.
IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, told
India Strategic that IAF had submitted technical
evaluation reports for both the combat and heavy
lift helicopters and that he expected the results
to be announced within 2011. The winning vendor
in each case would be invited for final negotiations
IAF has a tender for 22 combat helicopters and
15 heavy lift machines with no options. But more
could be ordered later.
According to noted expert Lt Gen B S Pawar (Retd),
Apache is far more advanced than other attack
helicopter worldwide, and the only one which has
proven itself in combat beginning with the 1991
US-Iraq Gulf war. It has been executing successful
missions in Afghanistan irrespective of the terrain.
Apache was displayed at the Dubai Airshow for
the first time in 1991, after its highly successful
attacks on Iraqi armour during the war over the
liberation of Kuwait. It has been used in Iraq
again, and is now operating 24x7 missions in Afghanistan.
Mi 28N, delivered to the Russian forces in 2006,
has hardly seen any action.
Notably, the US is known to have much better
Electronic Warfare capability than perhaps any
other nation. The Apache can 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
Grummans highly sophisticated millimeter
wave Longbow fire control radar and Lockheed Martins
Hellfire and Raytheons 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 from bullets.