The Indian Air Force inducted 4 heavy lifting CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters in Chandigarh today in the presence of the Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

These helicopters are part of a larger order of 15 units which were ordered from the United States at a cost of $1.5 billion in September, 2015 by the Ministry of Defence, India.

These 4 units had arrived earlier in India on February 10 and were inducted in the Air Force today after undergoing the pre-acceptance tests and procedures.

The induction of these heavy-lift choppers represents a significant capability enhancement for the Indian air force as the Chinook is highly maneuverable and can be operated in most weather conditions. These choppers are also equipped for night time flying and are suitable for operation in tough, dense terrain. The choppers will provide a major boost to the airlift capacity of the Air Force and are expected to be also used for major disaster relief operations. Used by over 19 countries globally, the Chinook can carry upto 11 tonnes internally and a further 10 tonnes on an under-belly sling. In the troop carrying capacity, the Chinook can transport 45 fully equipped troops.

These Chinooks will replace the legacy Mi-26 which were acquired from the erstwhile Soviet Union and are at the end of their service life. The next set of Chinook helicopters are expected to be deployed in the Indian North East and the entire set of 15 helicopters will be delivered by March 2020.