The Indian Air Force (IAF)’s first CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopter arrived at the Adani Mundra Port in Gujarat, ahead of schedule, Boeing India announced.
The helicopter was officially delivered to the IAF during a ceremony at Boeing’s facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Feb. 1. The ceremony was attended by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s Ambassador to the USA; Air Marshal Amit Dev, Director General Air (Ops) from Air HQ (Vayu Bhawan); Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul General of India in New York and Air Cmde P.V. Shivanand, Air Attache at Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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. Currently, the Indian helicopter fleet is made up of mostly Russian platforms such as Mil Mi-17 utility helicopters, Mi- 26 heavy-lift helicopters and Mi-24 attack helicopters.
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. The IAF’s AH-64E Apache attack helicopter also performed its maiden flight in the same month. One delivered, India is the 14th nation to operate Apache and 19th nation to operate Chinook in its forces.
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.