CH-47F(I), the US made Chinook, which is an advanced multi-mission heavy lift helicopter will be formally inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) on March 25th, at an induction ceremony planned at the 3-BRD (Base Repair Depot).
According to the sources, IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal BS Dha air officer commanding-in-chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command Air Marshal R Nambiar are expected to attend the ceremony.
The armed forces would be helped by four of these advanced double-rotor helicopters, in combat operations and transportation of the troops, who have recently reached the 3-BRD base in Chandigarh for assembly. The IAF would get fifteen of these helicopters as per the deal with the US.
With their induction, the air force’s capability to deliver payloads to high altitudes will enhance as presently Soviet-origin Mi-26 chopper is carrying out such operations which is the world’s heaviest helicopter. Since 1986 the IAF has four Mi-26 based at the 3-BRD base here.
The entire airframe of this new twin-engine flying machine has a high degree of ballistics tolerance.
The internal cabin volume is sufficient for transporting fully equipped infantry soldiers for specialized operations and artillery guns and other equipment, as it has a carrying capacity of 11 tonnes and 45 troops. The total cost of acquisition for Chinook helicopters has been worked out to be Rs 8,845 crore.
“Seven Chinook helicopters are expected to be based in Chandigarh which is a strategically-important transport aircraft base for the troops deployed in high altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir especially Leh,” said an officer.