Apache chopper makes emergency landing

New Delhi: An Apache helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF) made an emergency landing during an operational sortie in Ladakh and it sustained damage due to “undulating” terrain and high altitude, the IAF said on Thursday.

The IAF said the incident took place on Wednesday and both the pilots on board are safe.

It was the first such incident involving an Apache chopper in the IAF, military officials said.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

The IAF had procured 22 Apache attack helicopters and the chopper that had to make the emergency landing was based in the Pathankot Air Force station in Punjab.

“An IAF Apache helicopter carried out a precautionary landing during an operational training sortie in Ladakh on April 3. During the process of this landing, it sustained damage due to undulating terrain and high altitude,” the IAF said in a brief statement.

“Both the pilots on board are safe and have been recovered to the nearest airbase. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause,” it said.

People familiar with the incident said the chopper made the emergency landing at a high-altitude place between Leh and Thoise.

The Apaches are extensively operating from Leh and Thoise air bases while carrying out operational sorties in eastern Ladakh.

The people cited above said the two pilots sustained minor injuries in the incident.

India had finalised a contract in September 2015 to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks choppers from the US at a cost of around USD 3 billion.

The first batch of Apache choppers was inducted into the IAF in 2019.

The AH-64 Apaches hold the reputation of being the world’s one of the most advanced and proven attack helicopters.

The helicopter is capable of delivering a variety of weapons which include air to ground Hellfire missiles. (Agencies)




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