Indian Air Force (IAF) today formally inducted the four heavy-lift Chinook helicopters. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa announced the induction at a ceremony held at Air Force base in Chandigarh. Chinook helicopters will be deployed at Chandigarh’s Air Force Station 12 Wing.
Speaking at the induction ceremony, Mr Dhanoa said that these helicopters are capable of vertical lift and heavy lifting in hilly areas. He said that vertical lift capability across a diversified terrain was required as India faces multiple security challenges.
The Air Chief Marshal said that Chinook has been procured with India-specific enhancements and can carry out military operations even at night, making make these helicopters a national asset. He said the induction of Chinook will be a game changer, the same way Rafale is going to be in the fighter flee. Mr Dhanoa added that another unit of heavy-lift choppers will be created for the East in Dinjan in Assam.
The Chinook helicopter has fully integrated digital cockpit management system and is capable of transporting fully-equipped infantry soldiers for specialised operations. A multi-mission heavy-left transport helicopter, Chinook will be used to move troops, artillery, ammunition, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Once inducted, the choppers will also help to help to lift M-777 ultra-light howitzers of the Indian armed forces. Its 24X7, all-weather operational capabilities are crucial for India Air Force, which operates in some of the most hostile terrains in the world.
Apart from military operations, they can also be used for medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and recovery, fire-fighting and civil development.