For Ladakh stand-off, how India readied its fleet of Apache attack choppers

India fast-tracked delivery of the last batch of the US-built Apache attack choppers after the May 5 stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh to be able to ramp up their presence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The last batch of five choppers arrived in India last month after the central government exempted Boeing contractors from the mandatory quarantine rules notified due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The team assembled the five choppers that had been shipped to India and quickly had them flown to the Pathankot air base after being flight-tested for deployment in Ladakh.

“The military wanted to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. And it was,” a top government official told Hindustan Times on Monday.

India had last year inducted 17 of the 22 AH-64 Apache choppers ordered from Boeing that can track 128 targets, prioritise threats and engage 16 targets. The remaining five were to arrive in India by the end of March. But the plan to ship the choppers had to be halted due to the nationwide lockdown enforced in India due to the coronavirus pandemic.

India was taken by surprise in early May when China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers adopted an aggressive posture, setting up a stand-off at four locations in eastern Ladakh. As it became clear that the stand-off was probably directed from Beijing, New Delhi started preparing for all eventualities.





Source:- Hindustan Times

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