The ongoing massive rescue operations in Uttarakhand were today aided by the Indian Air Force’s newly acquired Chinook CH-47F helicopters. The advanced multi-mission aircraft brought in both personnel and material required for the multi-agency mission at the Tapovan tunnel in the Chamoli area, choked in the aftermath of the glacier burst and flash flood of Sunday.
Up to 14 passengers and 1,400 kilograms of load were carried by the choppers for the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force, ANI reported. Three tonnes of load and five personnel of the Border Roads Organisation were also transported to facilitate rescue operations, it said.
The Chinook is among India’s latest acquisitions from the American firm Boeing, providing the IAF with strategic airlift capability “across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions”, according to the company’s website. India took delivery of these choppers by March 2020. They were part of a $3 billion package deal signed in 2015 which included 15 of these aircraft apart from 22 AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters.
The IAF had earlier deployed them to airlift supplies to remote areas in the higher reaches of Arunachal Pradesh amid the coronavirus pandemic.