Air Chief to induct copters from Chandigarh

Chinook helicopters had come from the US ahead of time arrived in a semi knocked down (SKD) condition at Mundra Port in Gujarat

Four heavy lift first four CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters were inducted in the Indian Air Force on Monday, at Air Force Station, Chandigarh, in Squadron No 126 Helicopter Flight (Featherweights). These machines are expected to add more teeth to the IAF. These multirole helicopters are going to be used in life-saving role during HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) missions, for which the fleets are often pressed into services.

The helicopters which had come from the US ahead of time arrived in a semi knocked down (SKD) condition at Mundra Port in Gujarat, were re-assembled and tested before the formal induction today .

These helicopters have come through the Foreign Military Sales from the US aerospace giants Boeing Company, and will operate alongside the last of four Russian Mil Mi-26s, and will help in lessening the burden on the Russian machines which eventually be phased out.

As has been reported earlier, the CH-47F (I) Chinooks are going to be used in the IAF missions in Ladakh area, Kashmir and north-east regions.

The Boeing Company had handed over the machines at a ceremony held at Philadelphia in the US in February to the officers of the IAF as well as in the presence of the Indian Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla. The remaining of the eleven is expected to be delivered by 2023.

The government to government deal was inked in September 2015 and also has an option of additional seven platforms. The first Chinook airframe manufactured for the IAF was tested in the US in July 2018, followed by training of the pilots and four engineers in Delaware for conversion training on Chinooks. The infrastructure for the helicopters has already been set up which includes two hangars and a maintenance area as well as logistical and technical facilities.

What Is Chinook Helicopter?

Indian industry partners such as Dynamatics are building large sections of Chinook. The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter operated by the US Army and 18 other defence forces. It has the proven ability to operate in different terrains and conditions. It has the capability to airlift the M777 lightweight howitzers that have been inducted in the Indian Army’s Artillery last year. Chinooks have a payload capacity of about 10 tonne. These will provide much-needed strength to the IAF heavy-lift capability. These helicopters are expected to lift artillery, vehicles, road construction and engineer equipment as well as troops and supplies to mountainous sectors in North and North-East.