Chandigarh: Indian Air Force formally inducted the CH 47 F(I)- Chinook heavy lift helicopters into its inventory on Monday at Air Force Station, Chandigarh.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff was the Chief Guest at the ceremony attended by various dignitaries.
IAF had signed a contract with M/s Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 15 Chinook helicopters. The first batch of four choppers has been delivered on schedule and the last batch is to be delivered by March next year. These helicopters will be deployed in the Northern and Eastern regions of the nation.
The addition of heavy-lift CH 47 F (I) choppers is a significant step towards modernisation of Indian Air Force’s helicopter fleet. The chopper has been customised to suit IAF’s future requirements and capability roadmap.
The helicopter has a fully integrated digital cockpit management system, advanced cargo handling capabilities and electronic warfare suite that complements the aircraft’s performance. The helicopter is capable of airlifting diverse military and non-military loads in remote locations.
The four CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters, part of the 15 contracted by India from US firm Boeing in September 2015 for over Rs 8,000 crore, were commissioned into the IAF’s 126 Helicopter Unit, nicknamed ‘Featherweights.’
The choppers will be used to transport troops, artillery and other equipment to border areas.
IAF’s 126 Helicopter Flight unit also operates the last batch of Russian made Mi-26 choppers, which would be phased out soon.
India had also inked a deal to acquire 22 Apache attack helicopters that will be inducted into IAF’s fleet by end of this year keeping in mind the two front threats of China and Pakistan