First Batch of Four Chinooks (CH-47I) Arrives in India
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First Batch of Four Chinooks (CH-47I) Arrives in India

By IndraStra Global News Team

On February 10, 2019, the first four of 15 Boeing CH-47I Chinook advanced multi-mission heavy-lift helicopters arrived ahead-of-schedule at Mundra Port (in Western India). The delivery is part of a $3.1bn via Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement signed between Boeing and the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the year 2015 for the procurement of 22 AH-64E Apache attack, and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook transport helicopters.

Earlier on February 2, Boeing officially handed over first of the Chinook helicopters to IAF during ‘India-Chinook Transfer Ceremony’ at its a facility in Philadelphia. The handover took place in the presence of Indian ambassador to the US, Harsh Shringla. For the first batch transfer, stipulated a number of pilots and flight engineers of IAF were trained in Delaware by Boeing for operating these helicopters. They are intended to support IAF's strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions

According to the sources, the helicopters will be assembled in Mundra and then flown to the Chandigarh Air Base (which comes under IAF's Western Air Command) where it will be formally inducted into the IAF later this year - eventually, Chinooks will become part of the No. 126 Helicopter Flight (Featherweights) squadron which is also equipped with Mil Mi-26 helicopters. To accommodate Chinooks, two separate hangars and a maintenance bay along with associated technical and logistics facilities have been set up at an approximate cost of ₹150 crores.

The delivery of all Chinooks is expected to be completed by March 2020.