Indian Air Force Formally Inducts Chinook Helicopter
Boeing today handed over the first four CH-47F(I) Chinooks to the Indian Air Force at an induction ceremony at the Air Force Station, Chandigarh. The ceremony was attended by the Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Chief of Air Staff, senior officers from the Indian Air Force and officials from Boeing. The first of the iconic machines will become part of the 126 Helicopter Flight squadron. The 126 Helicopter Flight unit currently operates the last of the Russian built Mi-26 choppers that have been transporting heavy equipment so far.
Chinook helicopters capable of transporting howitzers and troops to forward and high-altitude areas across the country, adding more teeth to IAF's heavy lift capabilities as well as place India-US defence cooperation on a stronger footing.
The first Chinooks arrived in India from the US in a semi-knocked down condition last month and were reassembled and re-tested before being sent to their Chandigarh base. The first Chinook airframe manufactured for the IAF was tested in the US in July 2018 and it was followed by training of the pilots and engineers. The infrastructure for the helicopters has already been set up which includes two hangars and a maintenance facility besides logistics and technical facilities. The complete delivery of 15 Chinooks are expected to be completed by 2023.
The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter operated by the US Army and 18 other defense 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.
Chinook is used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard and by the armed forces of more than 19 countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The induction of the CH-47F(I) Chinooks is an asset to the Indian Air Force’s airlift capabilities