USA grounds its Chinook helicopter fleet for certain issues. Should this really worry India?
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USA grounds its Chinook helicopter fleet over technical issues. The Wall Street Journal is the first to report after interviewing a top US official. Moreover, the grounding of USA’s Chinook helicopters is defined an ‘extreme step of caution’. Its because USA doesn’t want any mishap with its Chinooks. As, it may potentially distort its relevance in military world, thereby. affect its foreign sales.
Chinooks are the icons of USA’s foreign battles. Stretching from Vietnam to present times in Iraq, Syria. The Chinooks, particularly the CH-47s , are in service of nearly 20 countries including, India. The U.S, U.K , being the bulk operators.
Chinooks are the top choice of US army and other forces. Owing, to its multi-mission and heavy-utility capabilities.
What’s the reason behind, USA grounds its Chinook helicopter?
USA grounds its Chinook helicopter over the issue of ‘engine-fires’. The US army Materiel Command orders such action. Contrary, this action is termed as an “out of an abundance of caution”. Moreover, officials are looking for about 70 Chinooks linked to the issue. However, the ‘engine fire’ didn’t result in any fatalities. Furthermore, the grounding of Chinooks are targeted at ‘Boeing co-made models’.
The engines jointly made by US ‘Honeywell Corporation’. Its good to see that both Boeing and Honeywell are responsive. Both answer to media over the issue. This shows the comapnies involved are confident in overcoming the issue. The twin-engine chopper is manufactured by Boeing. While its engine is made by Honeywell corporation.
Chinook’s primary task is ‘logistical’. It transports’troops’, ‘artillery’, ‘equipment’, ‘fuel’. Hence, serving such important tasks of USAF. USA grounds all chinooks. Its so to prevent any misadventure.
What ‘Boeing’ and ‘Honeywell’ corporation tell about, ‘USA grounds its Chinook helicopter fleet’?
On one hand, Boeing answered the media questions, but denies to openly discuss the issue. Shockingly, the Honeywell corporation stand upto every media question. The Honeywell corporation spokesperson says, the engine maker will closely cooperate with the army over the issue. He further adds, certain components known as ‘O-rings’ repored issues. These didn’t meet the comapny’s standards. The army unknowingly install the parts, that cause the issue. He adds, the company is on a speedy production to supply the army with the right replacements.
Prior, to Honeywell ‘s statement a US army spokeswoman tells,” The safety of our soldiers is the army’s top priority. For that we will ensure that our aircraft remains ‘safe’ and ‘airworthy’ “. Hence, we can’t compromise with the safety and life of our soldiers. contrary, analysts talk that about this sudden grounding. They say, it may potentially hinder US logistics.
Its so because, Chinook is a heavy-lift utility helicopter. It has been hsitorically used by every US armed forces unit. Ferring more than 4 dozen troops and cargos. It’s always been staple choice of US army for nearly six decades. Dating since, the Vietnam war.
Should this move of USA over Chinooks worry India!
India has a fleet of 15 Chinook choppers. This, she acquired from the U.S. After, signing a deal worth 3.1 billion dollars. Thereafter, she inducted it in march 2019. Thereupon, the chopper has become IAF’s top choice for high-altitude operations. Since, its induction the chopper has been regularly used in ‘Siachen’ and ‘ladakh’. In tasks such as transporting troops and supplies.
As soons as, USA grounded its chinooks IAF seek for details. From the sought data, its seems the problem is only with US fleet. To enumerate, a veteran tells to media. He says, ” IAF Chinooks are flying as before. They haven’t faced such problems. From what is known, USA grounds its Chinooks over issue of ‘Engine Fires’. Unfortunately, it happened due to internal fuel leaks. Particularly, in the engines undergoing ‘overhauls’ and ‘maintainance’.
Markedly, IAF Chinooks are flying as before. This, clearly indicates the problem is with US fleet. Even UK, the 2nd largest Chinook operator haven’t reported any issue. IAF tells ,they are in close touch with Chinook’s maker. Especifically, keeping close look on USA’s Chinook rectification.
The Hindustan Times, was the first to report in India. USA gounds its Chinooks | All you need to knowAfter, interviewing a Veteran Airman. (retd) Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur. Former Additional Director general, Centre for Air Power Studies. He further adds, India has other options. If Chinooks are out of choice for IAF. Hence, this move of USA shall not worry but concern India!
Why India purchased the Chinook helicopters?
India signed a deal during the Obama adminsitration. It was worth 3.1 billion dollars with Boeing. The plan was to buy 15 Chinooks to meet India’s strategic needs. Contrary, India opts for Chinooks for a variety of reasons. As, it will give IAF unmatched strategic-airlift capability. Ultimately, it will boost her in combat and logistical mission.
The Chinook helicopter comes with a payload capacity of 10 tons. This will serve IAF’s heavy-lift needs. In light of, chopper’s heavy-lift capability. The chopper can be used for infrastructural developments. Particularly, building roads and tunnels in India’s North-East. The Chinook’s integrated features are also quite impressive.
Likewise, it has a full-integrated glass cockpit for mission management. Additionally, an advanced digital flight control system. It enhances the aircrew safety. Lastly, an advanced cargo-handling feature. It allows crew to swifly shift from missions. Likewise, it allows to changing from moving cargo to other materials. Missions such as transporting vehicles and people.
Prior, before the Indian deal was finalised. Boeing made a stunning statement. It says, the chopper can operate in any condition. This includes, ‘climatic’, ‘altitude’,’crosswind’. Not to mention, it will benefit India a lot. Above all, Boeing says something special. The advanced innovations and technologies of Chinook will be game-changer for IAF.
It will maximize interoperability. Reduce life-cycle costs. Thereby, considering the above features, India opted for Chinnoks. The Indian fleet of Chinooks is based in 3 diiferent locations. They are ladakh, Chandigarh, North-East.
Don’t worry IAF has other options in her inventory belieng Chinook helicopters!
As, IAF tells in the interview. India has other opions in her inventory. Unfortunately, if the Chinooks helicopter is out of choice. The foremost of them being, the Mi-26. Its a Russian heavy-lift chopper. Markedly, the chopper was the lifting-bull of the Kargil war. Beacuse, it performed both day and night missions.
After, that the chopper has helped Inida in many instances. Ranging from the disaster-management to construction activities. Uniquely, this chopper has helped in India’s Anni sector. This sector is in the eastern India. Wherein, this chopper delivered materials for road-construction. This chopper has also carried out casualty-evacuation task.
Apart from the Chinooks and Mi-26. The IAF has other strategic airlifters. one such is the Boeing C-17 Globemaster. It is a modern military cargo aircraft. Markedly, it has a payload capacity of 74,747 Kg. Another, is the Ilyumish IL-76. It is a Russian four-engine, turbofan, strategic airlifter. It has a ferrying payload of 40,000 Kg. The C-130J Hercules is another transport aircraft. It is an American, four-engine, turboprop airlifter. Uniquely, its capable of landing on harsh runways. Markedly, it has a payload capacity of 21,000 Kg.
Henceforth, IAF’s mission is to serve the country. They assault during the wartime. Whereas, in times of peace, they provide survelliance, rescue and disaster-management missions. Therefore, it doesnot matter for IAF, if the Chinooks are out of choice. The IAF has multiple of transport aircraft in its fleet. This she can use in any place and time.
As, is the motto of IAF. ‘Touch the Sky with Glory. The IAF doesnot have any excuses. It only provides concrete results. Plus, show of capability and capacity. This, India has previously witnessed. From the evacuation mission of Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan.
Why is ‘Chinook helicopter’ considered a ‘historical helicopter’?
The Chinook is the heaviest-lift chopper in US inventory. Its named after the native Americans. Particularly after the residents of ‘Oregon’ and ‘Washington’. Chinooks are considered a historical choppers. Its due a variety of reasons. This chopper has served in many battles. Explicitly, in Vietnam, Iran-Iraq war, Falklands war. To present times in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Vietnam war, the Chinooks heavy-lift capability was greatly tested. It was to deploy ‘artillery batteries’. In the perilious mountains inaccessible by roads.
Unfortunately, the Chinooks proved to inefficent during the Vietnam war. To enumerate, due to lack of an assault mechanism. It made Chinooks ‘shooting-ducks’ by the foot soldiers. During the Iran-Iraq war. Iran heavily used the, then US bought Chinooks. To support its logistics. Unfortunately, 8 Chinooks were lost in this war. It was when an Iraqi Mirage F1 knocked three Iranian Chinooks. That was carrying troops.
The most iconic use of Chinooks in this war was by Iran. It was in the Fath-Ol-Mobin mission. In this, Iranian Chinooks landed bhind Iraqi lines. They deployed troops. That silenced artillery batteries and took Iraqi forces by surprise. During the Falklands war, the Chinooks were used by both belligerents of the war. Argentina and the United Kingdom. During the 1990 Iraq war. The USA deployed record number of Chinooks.
Ranging about 163 to nations like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq. During the Afghanstan war, the Chinooks were used in multiple tasks. From, Air-Assault missions to inserting troops, ammo and ration in the fire-bases. Notably, in this war. The Chinooks of multiple nations aided in the Afghanistan war. Its due to Chinooks ‘versality’ and ‘ability’, to operate in such harsh climates.
Will sudden grounding of USA’s Chinook helicopter affect its potential foreign buyers ?
Analysts argue, such an act won’t affect Chinook’s foreign sales. Its so because, the Chinooks has been only identified in the US fleet. None other Chinook operator nation, as such, has reported such issue. Countries like Britian, India are continuing to fly their Chinooks as before. Identically, Boeing and Honeywell have also stood upto the issue. The have assured the problem has been identified. Notably, it will be solved in record time.
Furthermore, US officials are keeping a close eye on this issue. As, has been reported in the media. Furthermore, what actually happened. USA grounded its Chinooks as a precautionary-step. As, reported by their officials to the media. They did this, to ensure the safety and security of their soldiers. The supply of wrong-parts caused this problem.
Henceforth, the issue has been overcomed, as reported Boeing and Honeywell. Therefore, the operators of Chinooks musn’t worry. The Chinook helicopter is a versatile machine. It will continue to fly and operate around the world. It will continue to act as the protectant of the ‘Free-World’ and ‘Rules-based World Order’.
Therefore, it can be said that the Chinook’s problem will not hinder its foreign sales. Interested countries will continue buy the Chopper as before. Moreover, the Chinook has several merits. If any of its demerit is to be pointed-out. Hence, the interested foreign buyers of Chinooks. They will continue to purchase this chopper.
In the end, talking about India. It has cleverly inducted other transport choppers earlier than Chinooks. Markedly, India purchased the Chinooks. In order to bloster its supply-lines across the China border. Immediately, after USA grounded its Chinooks, India sought for details. The IAF has clearly stated that none of these hinderances can obstruct India from defending her ‘Democracy’ and ‘Sovereignty’ against any foreign aggressor. As the Indian armed forces believe in this popular saying,” Its the man behind the machine that really matters”.
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