IAF to induct first batch of Chinooks on March 25

IAF to induct first batch of Chinooks on March 25
The choppers will now be part of the No 126 Helicopter Flight.
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Bengaluru: Adding teeth to its heavy-lift missions, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will formally induct four Chinook helicopters on March 25 at Air Force Station, Chandigarh.

The IAF confirmation on Wednesday comes following the arrival of these choppers in India last month at Mundra Port in Gujarat.

Its makers Boeing had said that the first four CH-47F (I) Chinooks were delivered ahead of schedule.

AFS Chandigarh will be the base for the Chinooks. The IAF has placed an order for 15 Chinook helicopters.

The choppers will now be part of the No 126 Helicopter Flight (Featherweights).

The squadron presently operates the last of four Russian Mil Mi-26s.

IAF officials told Onmanorama the induction of Chinooks will lessen the load on the Russian Mi-26s, which are often faced with serviceability issues.

Chinooks are set to boost IAF missions in Ladakh, Kashmir and north-east regions.

These choppers will also come very handy during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR ) missions.

The Chinooks will be now used for lifting heavy artillery and other supplies to remote and high-altitude areas on the border.

India had signed a government-to-government deal with the US in September 2015 for 15 Chinooks, with an additional option of seven more.

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