Indian Air Force sets record with 1910 km helicopter sortie from Chandigarh to Jorhat
This capability demonstration presents operational planners with multiple options for combat and Humanitarian Air and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, said an Air Force officer
Published: 12th April 2022 02:31 PM | Last Updated: 12th April 2022 02:31 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force has set a record by executing the longest sortie by helicopter in the country on Monday.
The Indian Air Force in a tweet said, “An IAF Chinook undertook the longest non-stop helicopter sortie in India, flying from Chandigarh to Jorhat (Assam). The 1910 km route was completed in 7 hrs 30 min and made possible by the capabilities of Chinook along with operational planning and execution by the IAF.”
This capability demonstration presents operational planners with multiple options available at their disposal for combat and Humanitarian Air and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, said an Air Force officer on condition of anonymity.
Keeping the long haul in mind, extra crew was on board the helicopter, added the officer.
The Chinook is a multi-role, vertical lift platform, used for transporting men and material. It also plays an important role in HADR operations. Rapid mobility will allow the IAF to employ this asset optimally as required.
The IAF has two squadrons of Chinook helicopters, one each in the Western and Eastern sectors.
Group Captain Sandeep Mehta (Retd) called this successful sortie a feather in the cap. This demonstration of long reach of heavy lift helicopters is a critical strategic capability, both in peacetime and during war, he said.
“In the subcontinent where earthquakes, floods, cyclones, heavy snowfall, landslides and even tsunami have wreaked havoc in the past, it can bring relief at such a pace that impact of disasters is minimised and rehabilitation is immediate," said Group Captain Mehta, a former helicopter pilot.
The helicopters have some peculiar intrinsic strengths which are vital for certain kinds of operations in mountains, valleys and restricted areas. It can quickly move a larger number/volume of men and material, far from rail and road heads.
As reported earlier by TNIE, India had finalised a contract in September 2015 to procure 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook choppers from the US at a cost of around Rs 8,000 crore ($3 billion).
The helicopter can lift about 10 tons of load which include troops, artillery guns, light armoured vehicles, ammunition, supplies and battlefield equipment.