Good news to the Indian Air Force as the first batch of 4 Chinook Helicopters arrived on 11th Feb at Mundra Port, Gujarat. This seems like a positive sign for the Air Force who is struggling with equipping itself adequately with time.
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Helicopter
The Indian Air Force has been struggling with logistical supply and support, with its ailing Russian build Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters, Mi- 26 & Mi- 35 attack helicopters. With an increase in tensions across borders against Pakistan and China, India rapidly scaled up its defence purchases.
India signed the $ 3 billion dollar deal with the USA for the purchase of 15 CH-47 Chinook and 22 AH-64 Apache helicopters in 2018, a decision taken after 3 years of thought.
Named after American Indian tribe, the CH-47 F(I) “Chinook” is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that was manufactured by Boeing. It was introduced in 1962 and took part in many operations in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iran. It is said to be one of the most advanced heavy-lift helicopters of the world.
Boeing has strengthened its supply chain & has nearly 160 partners in JV to manufacture large sections of Chinook helicopters.
The helicopter can carry a payload of 9.6 tonnes including heavy machinery such as artillery guns, howitzers, and even light armored vehicles. This capacity can also be utilized for rescue operations, disaster relief, aircraft recovery, and parachute drops.
It can also help the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to complete long-pending road building projects and provide better connectivity to North-East India.
Clash of the heavy lifters: Mi-26 Vs Chinook
The Russian made Mi-26 has been a part of India since ages, but the Indian Air Force is facing many issues, the most prominent is spare parts. It is often seen that the Mi-26 spends most of its time on land than in air. To add to its woes the operational cost of the helicopter is also huge. So purchasing the Chinook is a better option.
Around the world:
More than 1100 Chinooks have been manufactured by Boeing and nearly 19 countries around the world are using Chinooks. India is the 9th Non-Nato countries that have received Chinook helicopter before India did.
Here is a list of Non-Nato countries: Libya, Iran, Morocco, South Korea, Thailand, China, Japan and Singapore.
Air Base and Establishments:
The helicopter will be stationed in Chandigarh Air Force Station as well as Mohanbari in the North East. The IAF has already trained its pilot on new helicopters since October 2018 in Delaware, USA.
The Chinook is one of the most important things in IAF’s arsenal which would boost its military capability to a vast extent.
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