New Delhi: You would have seen twin-engine Chinook helicopters in Hollywood movies, but on Sunday, India acquired four of these mean machines. The addition of one of the most modern heavy-lift choppers in the world is going to give a major boost to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The first batch of four of these tandem-rotor helicopters was offloaded at the Mundra port in Gujarat. After acceptance trials, the helicopters will be flown to Chandigarh, which would be their permanent base.

The Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that will provide the Indian armed forces with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions. The IAF currently has 15 Chinook helicopters on order. 

The Chinook has a payload capacity of nearly 10 tonnes and will give a major boost to IAF's heavy-lift capability. Till now, this job was being done by the Soviet-origin Mi-26s. But IAF has only four Mi-26s out of which only one is in service now.

All you need to know about the Chinook helicopter 

The helicopter: The Chinook is made by the US-based aerospace company, Boeing. This chopper is in use by more than 19 countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The Chinook helicopters were introduced in 1962 as the CH-47 Chinook was deployed in Vietnam. A central element in the Gulf War, they continue to be the standard for the US Army in the global campaign against terrorism. Since its introduction, 1,179 Chinooks have been built.

Role: Chinook helicopters can be used to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. They can also be extremely beneficial in medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, fire-fighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development. These massive helicopters can carry 9.6 tonnes of cargo.

What it means for India: These modern helicopters are not only going to add more power to the IAF, but is being seen as vital for assisting other defence forces in their tasks. These helicopters can carry troops, artillery and supplies to inaccessible areas. They can be helpful to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in completing road-building projects in the difficult terrains of the Northeast that have been stuck for years. These heavy-lift choppers can help in this case by carrying material and equipment through narrow valleys. They are best suited for operations in high altitude terrains. They are manoeuvrable and can get in and out of tight valleys.