New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday formally inducted first four of its 15 advanced-heavy lift Chinook helicopters at a ceremony in Chandigarh. Speaking at the event, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said the helicopters are national assets. “The country faces multiple security challenges. We require vertical lift capability across a diversified terrain. Chinook has been procured with India-specific enhancements, it’s a national asset,” Dhanoa said at the event.Also Read - Air Force Officer Stabbed to Death in Bihar's East Champaran District

He added,”It can carry out military operations, not only in day but during night too; another unit will be created for the East in Dinjan (Assam). Induction of Chinook will be a game changer the way Rafale is going to be in the fighter fleet.” Also Read - Gen Rawat Chopper Crash: IAF To Brief Rajnath Singh At 11 AM

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On February 10, American aerospace major Boeing had delivered the first batch of four Chinook military helicopters for the Indian Air Force at the Mundra port in Gujarat. India has procured 15 of these helicopters from the United States.

India has paid close to USD 1.5 billion for 15 of these helicopters which would be also used for deploying troops and machinery at high altitude locations. Chinook is one of the two helicopters other than the Apache attack choppers for which India had signed deals in 2015-16. The supplies of Apaches will also start by September this year when they start arriving at the Pathankot airbase.