First batch of Chi­nooks ar­rives from US

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Htnation - Rahul Singh let­[email protected]­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: The first batch of heavy-lift Chi­nook he­li­copters ar­rived at Gu­jarat’s Mun­dra Port from the US on Sun­day, a spokesper­son of Amer­i­can aero­space ma­jor Boe­ing said.

The four Boe­ing CH-47F (I) Chi­nooks, part of a 15-he­li­copter or­der placed by In­dia three years ago, will be as­sem­bled and flown to their home base in Chandi­garh where they will be for­mally in­ducted in the In­dian Air Force (IAF) later this year, two of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said on the con­di­tion of anonymity.

With the ad­di­tion of the Chi­nooks, the air force’s ca­pa­bil­ity to de­liver pay­loads to high al­ti­tudes will be en­hanced as it cur­rently has a soli­tary Soviet-ori­gin Mi-26 chop­per to carry out such op­er­a­tions, de­fence of­fi­cials­said.

“The CH-47F (I) Chi­nook is an ad­vanced multi-mis­sion he­li­copter that will pro­vide the In­dian armed forces with un­matched strate­gic air­lift ca­pa­bil­ity across the full spec­trum of com­bat and hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sions,” a Boe­ing re­lease said. The Chi­nook’s pri­mary roles in­clude ar­tillery, bat­tle­field re­sup­ply and trans­porta­tion of troops.

The United States is In­dia’s se­cond largest arms sup­plier af­ter Rus­sia. Since 2008, In­dia has bought or ordered mil­i­tary equip­ment worth $15 bil­lion from the United States, in­clud­ing C-130J spe­cial op­er­a­tions planes, C-17 trans­port air­craft, P-8I sub­ma­rine hunter planes, Har­poon mis­siles, Apache and Chi­nook he­li­copters and M777 light­weight how­itzers.

In Septem­ber 2015, the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance (NDA) gov­ern­ment placed a $3.1-bil­lion or­der for 22 AH-64E Apache Long­bow at­tack he­li­copters – also man­u­fac­tured by Boe­ing — and the 15 Chi­nooks to scale up the air force’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

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