IAF commissions four battle-hardened Chinook helicopters in its fleet
By Akshay Kedari  Date: 2019-03-25

IAF commissions four battle-hardened Chinook helicopters in its fleet
  • The first units of the iconic U.S-made helicopters would be inducted into the IAF 126 Helicopter Flight squadron during an official event in Chandigarh.
     
  • The government-to-government deal puts India-U.S. defense collaboration on a stronger footing.

The Indian Air Force (IAF), the world’s 4th strongest air force, has reportedly announced the commissioning of a fleet of four U.S-made Chinook helicopters into its air-defense fleet, further boosting IAF’s heavy-lift capabilities.

Reports cite, the first units of the iconic U.S-made helicopters would be inducted into the IAF 126 Helicopter Flight squadron during an official event in Chandigarh. The four Chinooks would be operating alongside the unit’s current heavy-lifters, the last of Russian-made Mi-26 choppers.

According to a report by The Print, the move comes under an INR 8,000 crore deal that was signed in September 2015 between the Government of India and US-based aircraft manufacturing firm, Boeing. The agreement covers the purchase of 15 Chinooks which, owing to a number of significant upgrades, are considered to be one of the most advanced heavy-lift choppers in the world.

Apart from their heavy-lifting capabilities, the Chinooks are also known for their high maneuverability which provides them the ability to traverse narrow valleys, making them ideal for mountain operations, as previously witnessed during the chopper’s service in Afghanistan.

The Chinooks are also expected to provide a significant boost to the infrastructure development projects along the nation’s borders due to their ability of negotiating difficult terrain while carrying heavy cargos such as road construction equipment.

Moreover, the choppers are also expected to be used extensively by the IAF for life-saving humanitarian assistance & disaster relief (HADR) missions, which the Air Force is frequently called upon for.

The first Chinook Airframe produced specifically for the IAF was tested back in July 2018 in the U.S. and was followed by a training period in which IAF pilots & engineers were taught how to operate & maintain the helicopter.

According to reports, the delivery of all 15 Chinook helicopters is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

About Author

Akshay Kedari    

Akshay Kedari

A qualified computer engineering graduate, Akshay Kedari takes pride in having his way with words. Following his passion for content creation, he writes insightful pieces on aeresearch.net and a few other portals. Also endorsed with a short-term experience in web deve...

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