The first batch of 4 CH-14F Chinook helicopters has arrived at the Mundra airport in Gujarat on Sunday. These four Chinook helicopters will be assembled in Gujarat and then it will be ferried to Chandigarh airbase, which takes care of providing necessary items to Siachen and Eastern Ladakh sectors. After the flight tests, these aircraft would be formally inducted in IAF. Presently, IAF is using Mi-17 and Mi-26 helicopters, which are manufactured by Russia.
India had finalized a mega-contract with Boeing to purchase 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook for Indian Air force in September 2015 in a deal worth $3 billion from the US and Delhi has the option of buying another six Apaches that has already been approved by the US.
The induction of Chinook aircraft would help in modernization of the helicopter fleet of IAF. Chinook helicopters are used by 18 other countries around the world. In October 2018 4 pilots and 4 flight engineers were trained by Boeing on the operation of Chinook at Delaware USA. On February 2, the first Chinook helicopter was handed over during ‘India-Chinook Transfer Ceremony’ to India in Philadelphia.
Boeing said, Chinook “will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions”. The Chinook can carry 9.6 tons of loads, including artillery guns, light armoured vehicles and heavy machinery to high altitude areas.