The Air Force has started training pilots to fly the CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters that India has bought from the US, an official said today. The Air Force will induct 15 Chinook helicopters, apart from 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters made by Boeing.
Four pilots and an equal number of flight engineers have been training on Chinook helicopters at Delaware in the US since Monday.
The powerful twin-rotor transport helicopter will boost the Air Force's heavy-lift capabilities as it will be able to carry arms and ammunition over long distance and to high altitude.
The Chinook will particularly be helpful in disaster relief and rescue operations.
In July, Boeing had said India took a significant step toward modernising its Air Force's helicopter fleet by completing the first flights of Apache and Chinook helicopters destined for delivery next year.
"We look forward to delivering this phenomenal capability to India," said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift. "From coastal operations to high-altitude mountainous missions, these aircraft will play vital roles with the Indian armed forces."