HomeIndian DefenceIAF's Apache attack helicopter makes emergency landing in Ladakh; both pilots safe

IAF’s Apache attack helicopter makes emergency landing in Ladakh; both pilots safe

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An Indian Air Force (IAF) Apache helicopter executed a precautionary landing during an operational training sortie in the Ladakh Area of Responsibility (AOR) on April 3, 2024. The aircraft sustained damage during the landing process, attributed to the undulating terrain and high altitude prevalent in the region.

Incident and Response

The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry into the incident. “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.Fortunately, both pilots aboard the helicopter emerged unharmed from the incident and have been successfully evacuated to the nearest airbase. “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.

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

The AH-64 Apaches hold the reputation of being one of the world’s most advanced and proven attack helicopters. The helicopter is capable of delivering a variety of weapons, including air-to-ground Hellfire missiles.

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.

As per standard protocol, a Court of Inquiry has been initiated to investigate the circumstances surrounding the precautionary landing and to determine the exact cause of the damage.

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