The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted the first four CH-47F (I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters during a ceremony at the 3 Base Repair Depot (3 BRD) in Chandigarh on March 25.
The first of the 15 Chinook helicopters ordered by India was officially delivered to the IAF during a ceremony at Boeing’s facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Feb. 1. The helicopter arrived in India later the month, ahead of schedule.
In 2015, India had placed the order, worth $3.1 billion, for 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook transport helicopters to be procured for its Air Force from Boeing though U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. Additionally, six Apaches were cleared for purchase for the Indian Army in 2017.
In July last year, the first CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter built for the IAF conducted its maiden flight at the company’s Chinook assembly facility. India is the 19th nation to operate Chinook in its forces. The Chinook complements/replaces IAF’s Mil Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters.
The Chinook is a multi-mission, heavy-lift transport helicopter. Its primary mission is to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. Its secondary missions include medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR), aircraft recovery, fire fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development.
Chinook helicopters were introduced in 1962 as the CH-47 Chinook, and models A, B and C were deployed in Vietnam. As the product of a modernization program, which included refurbishing existing CH-47s, the first CH-47Ds were delivered in 1982 and were produced until 1994. A central element in the Gulf War, they continue to be the standard for the U.S. Army in the global campaign against terrorism. Since its introduction 1,179 Chinooks have been built.