First Four Indian AF CH-47Fs Arrive in India

Indian Air Force (IAF) CH-47F Chinook ZL-4674 acts as a back-drop for the formal ceremony to hand over the first helicopter at the factory in Ridley Park on January 31. The first four IAF Chinooks have arrived by sea in India and were unloaded at the port of Mundra this morning, February 10. Indian Embassy in the US

BOEING HAS delivered the first four CH-47F Chinooks to the Indian Air Force (IAF), several weeks ahead of their previously scheduled arrival in March.  They were unloaded from a commercial merchant ship at the port of Mundra, in India’s western state of Gujarat, this morning, February 10.  A video of one being towed off the ship shows it to be ZL-4670/N283RN (c/n M2405) but identities of the other three have yet to be confirmed.

Once re-assembled, they are due to be flown to Chandigarh Air Force Station to join 126 Helicopter Flight, which currently flies the IAF’s sole remaining operational Mi-26.  The latter is a survivor of four originally delivered, one of which was written-off on December 14, 2010, while the other two have been in storage for several years.  In addition to operating from Chandigarh in the north, a second Chinook unit will be formed at Mohanbari-Dibrugarh Air Force Station, Assam, in the east of the country.

The Indian Defence Ministry signed a direct military sales contract with Boeing for 15 CH-47Fs on September 28, 2015.  The deal also included options for a further seven of these helicopters.  The first IAF Chinook made its maiden flight from Boeing’s facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, on July 23, 2018, while crew training of IAF personnel on the type had begun there by last October.  An official hand-over ceremony for the first helicopter took place at Ridley Park on January 31, 2019.

Boeing registered all 15 IAF CH-47Fs with the Federal Aviation Administration last June for US flight-test purposes as N279RN to N293RN inclusive, with c/ns M2401 to M2415 respectively.  Apart from the above mentioned ZL-4670, tie-ups to the IAF serials of the others are not yet known.