Apache makes hard landing during sortie in Ladakh, pilots escape | India News

NEW DELHI: In the first major accident of the Apache attack helicopters since they were inducted from the US around four years ago, one of the heavy-duty choppers made a hard landing during an operational sortie for the ongoing Gagan Shakti exercise in Ladakh on Wednesday.
The two pilots, fortunately, escaped with minor injuries and were evacuated to the nearest air base.The IAF said the helicopter “sustained damage due to the undulating terrain and high altitude” during the “precautionary landing”. A court of inquiry has been ordered to pinpoint the cause of the accident that occurred near Khardung La in Ladakh.
The accident comes soon after the US Army has witnessed four Apache helicopter crashes in two-three months, with the latest being near Fort Carson in Colorado on March 27. It had led to the temporary grounding of the fleet and detailed investigations.
The IAF refused to specify how badly the helicopter was damaged in the accident and whether it could be salvaged. The IAF inducted 22 of the Boeing-manufactured Apache helicopters in the 2019-2020 timeframe under the Rs 13,952 crore deal inked with the US in September 2015.
Last month, the Army also raised an Apache squadron at Jodhpur along the western front with Pakistan ahead of the deliveries of the six of the heavy-duty choppers to the force from May onwards. The Rs 5,691 crore deal for the six choppers for the Army was inked in February 2020.
Dubbed “tanks in the air”, the Apaches are armed with Stinger air-to-air missiles, Hellfire Longbow air-to-ground missiles, guns and rockets. The choppers also have fire control radars with 360-degree coverage, nose-mounted sensor suites for target acquisition and night vision systems.

Source link