Chinook, The Workhorse Of The Sky

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New Delhi: Its considered one of the most advanced flying machines in the world and an envy for any military force.

1. Called the big bird, the heavy-duty Chinook helicopter, characterised by its twin-rotor blades, have been an integral part of the US Defence. Pictures of the chopper carrying supplies during the Vietnam War have remained etched in public memory.

2. No war led by the USA is complete without the use of these choppers. They are in action since the 1950s, and yet have remained contemporary — forget about being vintage.

3. Soon, they will be seen in the Indian skies as the first batch of four Chinook military helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) arrived at the Mundra port in Gujarat.

4. India had finalised a mega contract with Boeing to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks for the Indian Air Force in September 2015.

5. They will be assembled in Gujarat before being ferried to Chandigarh, where they will be formally inducted into the IAF later this year. At Chandigarh, the helicopters will become a part of the 126 Helicopter Flight, which currently operates the last of the Mi-26 heavy lift helicopters.

6. The helicopter, which is a battle proven machine, can carry 9.6 tons of load, including artillery guns, light armoured vehicles and heavy machinery to high altitude areas.

7. It is well suited for mountainous operations, due to its high maneuverability and ability to easily move in and out of valleys.

8. For India, the helicopters would add to the existing capabilities of the IAF. They will be of immense importance when needed to quickly ferry the M777 Ultra Light Howitzers to mountainous regions.

9. India is procuring 145 M777s for the army for deployment along the borders opposite China and Pakistan. The helicopters could also come in use of the construction agencies in the North East to lift heavy equipment for strategic roads construction.

10. “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.