Chinook Helicopters Induction in Indian Air Force
Chinook CH-47F (I) heavy-lift Helicopters, an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide Indian Air Force (IAF) with unmatched strategic airlift capability across full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions, which will significantly improve airlift to high-altitude areas, a significant step towards modernisation of IAF’s helicopter fleet, was formally inducted into its inventory with on schedule delivery of first batch of four helicopters at Air Force Station Chandigarh on 25 March 2019. IAF had signed a contract with M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 15 Chinook helicopters and the remaining helicopters are to be delivered by March 2020. These helicopters will be deployed in the Northern and Eastern regions of India.
- CH-47F Chinook aircraft is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter.
- It can fly at speeds of nearly 175 mph and carry payloads greater than 21000 lbs.
- CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopter has been customized to suit IAF’s future requirements and capability roadmap.
- It contains a fully integrated digital cockpit management system, common aviation architecture cockpit, advanced cargo handling capabilities and electronic warfare suite that complement the aircraft’s mission performance and handling characteristics.
- It has unsurpassed ability to deliver heavy payloads to high altitudes, and is eminently suitable for operations in the high Himalayas.
- It is capable of airlifting diverse military and non-military loads into remote locations.
- It has been battle-tested in diverse, extreme conditions throughout the world.
- It has proven capability to operate in the wide range of conditions that typify the Indian subcontinent.
An all-faith prayer was conducted during the induction of CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters into Indian Air Force at Chandigarh Air Force station.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff said, “Our country faces a multitude of security challenges, we require vertical lift capability across a much diversified terrain.” “The helicopter will give the IAF quantum leap in terms of ability to transport cargo to precarious high altitude locations. The aircraft is one of its best in its category,” and added, “Induction of Chinook will be a game changer the way Rafale is going to be in the fighter fleet”.
all-weather aircraft’s service ceiling of 20,000 feet would redefine heavy lift not just in operations, inter-valley transport and artillery transport but also in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in far-flung areas and in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees.