Indian Air Force inducts Chinook: 5 things to know about this game-changing helicopter
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday formally inducted the first unit of four heavy-lift Chinook helicopters in Chandigarh.
The Boeing-made Chinook helicopters, which were called national assets by Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, are expected to bolster the heavy-lift capabilities of the air force and strengthen India's defence ties with the United States.
The four helicopters arrived by sea and were handed over to Indian authorities at the Mundra port in Gujarat, Boeing India said in a statement. In 2018, India had signed a $3 billion (over Rs 20,000 crore at today's exchange rate) contract for the purchase of 15 Chinook and 22 Apache attack helicopters, three years after first deciding to buy these choppers.
The Boeing Chinook will replace the Russia-made Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters, the Mi-26 helicopters and Mi-35 attack helicopters.
Here are five things you should know about the Chinook.
1. The CH-47F (I) Chinook is a heavy lift, tandem rotor helicopter that serves armed forces of 19 countries. It will greatly enhance IAF's HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) capability.
2. The Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide support to the Indian armed forces during disaster relief, medical evacuation, search and rescue missions, aircraft recovery and parachute drops.
3. Each Chinook can carry goods and cargo weighing up to 9.6 tonnes. The cargo can include men and machines such as artillery guns and light armoured vehicles. Chinook is suited for operations in the Himalayas and has the capability to ferry heavy cargo like road construction equipment over difficult terrain.
4. The Chinook contains a fully integrated, Digital Cockpit Management System, Common Aviation Architecture Cockpit and advanced cargo-handling capabilities.
5. In July 2018, the first CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopter made for the Indian Air Force completed its first flight. The Indian Air Force received its first Chinook heavy-lift helicopter on February 10 at the Mundra port in Gujarat.