Chinook will be a game changer, says Air Force chief

An all-faith prayer was conducted during the induction of CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters into Indian Air Force at Chandigarh Air Force station.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday inducted the first batch of four Chinook CH-47F(I) heavy-lift helicopters, which will significantly improve airlift to high-altitude areas.

“The induction of Chinook will be a game changer the way Rafale is going to be in the fighter fleet… This modern, multi-mission-capable, heavy-lift transport helicopter will enhance our heli-lift capability across all types of terrain to the full effect,” Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa said at the ceremony at the Air Force Station Chandigarh.

The 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, he said.

These helicopters will be deployed in the northern and eastern regions, the IAF said in a statement. Besides Chandigarh, another unit will be created at Dinjan in Assam.

India finalised a contract for 15 Boeing Chinook helicopters in September 2015. The first batch arrived at the Mundra Port in Gujarat in February this year. All helicopters will be delivered by March next year.

The first batch of 12 pilots and as many flight engineers underwent training in the U.S. in October 2018.

The Chinook can carry a maximum payload of 11 tonnes and 54 combat-ready troops or 24 stretcher patients. The Army’s recently inducted M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers can be carried under slung to forward areas. This will significantly improve the rapid reaction capabilities along the western and eastern borders.

“The helicopter has been customised to suit the IAF’s future requirements...,” the IAF said.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 4:48:33 PM |

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