Boeing delivers first four Chinook helicopters for IAF
11 February 2019
American aerospace major Boeing Co has delivered the first batch of four Chinook heavy-lift military helicopters for the Indian Air Force.
The four Chinook helicopters arrived at the Mundra airport in Gujarat on Sunday.
A statement from the company said the CH47F (I) Chinooks will be ferried to Chandigarh, where they will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force later this year.
The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel. India has procured 15 of these helicopters from the United States.
It is also used for humanitarian and disaster relief operations and in missions such as transportation of relief supplies and mass evacuation of refugees.
“The CH-47F (I) Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions. The Indian Air Force currently has 15 Chinook helicopters on order,” the statement said.
India had finalised a mega contract with Boeing to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks for the Indian Air Force in September 2015.
“Boeing has strengthened its supply chain with over 160 partners in India, and a JV to manufacture fuselages for Apache helicopters. Annual sourcing from India stands at $1 billion,” it said.
With the addition of the Chinooks, the air force’s capability to deliver payloads to high altitudes will be enhanced as it currently has a solitary Soviet-origin Mi-26 chopper to carry out such operations, defence officials said.
The Chinook’s primary roles include artillery, battlefield resupply and transportation of troops.
The United States is India’s second largest arms supplier after Russia. Since 2008, India has bought or ordered military equipment worth $15 billion from the United States, including C-130J special operations planes, C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I submarine hunter planes, Harpoon missiles, Apache and Chinook helicopters and M777 lightweight howitzers.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had, in September 2015, placed a $3.1-billion order for 22 AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters as well to scale up IAF’s capabilities.