Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa announced the induction of Boeing made heavy-lift Chinook helicopters to the Indian Air Force on Monday, adding muscle power to air defence artillery amid tension with Pakistan.

India had paid a total of $1.5 billion for 15 Chinook choppers from American aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co., as a part of fastening defence relations with the US. On Monday, the Indian Air Force inducted four of the fifteen Chinook helicopters which are capable of ferrying heavy cargos like road construction equipment over difficult terrains; and also act as defensive choppers. The heavy-lift Chinooks are capable of transporting troops, artillery, ammunition, barrier materials, supplies and equipment.

 

The multi-functional heavy-lift choppers will replace the Russia-made Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters, the Mi-26 helicopters and Mi-35 attack helicopters. The newly inducted chopper provides unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions in warlike situation. The heavy-lift chopper is meant to bring muscle to operations at even extreme terrains like the Himalayas, and the inaccessible international border with Pakistan.

The induction of Chinooks comes parallel with Pakistan mobilising its artillery towards the border and the counter-mobilisation by the Indian Army. Heavy shelling and cross-border firing too has been reported from both sides of LoC, and it intensified after the Pulwama attack and the Balakot attack. And the Chinook will enable the air force to mobilize troops with weapons in emergent times, quickly and directly to the LoC with Pakistan and the China frontier.