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Friday, Dec 02, 2022

Explained: Why has the US grounded its Chinook helicopters, and what it means for India

The US Army has grounded its fleet of CH-47 Chinook helicopters, which are also operated by the Indian Air Force. What are the problems with the helicopter and what are the implications of this development for the IAF?

The US Army operates around 400 Chinook helicopters which are medium-lift, multi-role helicopters manufactured by Boeing who perform a variety of tasks in support of Army operations. (Express File/Sourced)

The US Army has grounded its fleet of CH-47 Chinook helicopters after finding the helicopter to be at risk of engine fires. The Indian Air Force (IAF) also operates a fleet of Chinook Helicopters. What are the problems with the helicopter and what are the implications of this development for the IAF?

Why has the US Army grounded Chinooks?

The US Army operates around 400 Chinook helicopters which are medium-lift, multi-role helicopters manufactured by Boeing who perform a variety of tasks in support of Army operations. As per the news broken by The Wall Street Journal, the Chinook fleet has been grounded by the US Army as it is suspected that some engine fires broke out on an unspecified number of helicopters. The same report said that while there have been no casualties because of these fires, yet a decision was taken to ground the helicopters as a precautionary measure.

What has been the reaction of the manufacturers to this development?

While Boeing has not commented on the matter as yet, The Wall Street Journal states that the issue is with the engine manufactured by Honeywell International Inc. A spokesperson of the company was quoted as saying that some components of the engine, known as O-rings, were not as per the design specifications.

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What implications does this development have for IAF?

The IAF operates a fleet of 15 Chinook helicopters and it has not grounded them as it awaits more word on the US development.

The IAF is learnt to have sought more information from the US about the grounding of the helicopters done by the US Army. The Chinooks were inducted into the IAF in 2019 in a ceremony at Chandigarh. One Helicopter Unit of Chinooks is based in Chandigarh while the other is based at Mohanbari airbase in Assam.

First published on: 31-08-2022 at 03:40:28 pm
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