India seeks details of reasons leading to grounding of US' Chinook CH-47 helicopters

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New Delhi: India on Wednesday sought details of the reasons which have led to the grounding of the entire fleet of US Army’s Chinook CH-47 helicopters over the risk of engine fires.

The US Army grounded its entire fleet of Chinook helicopters, a battlefield workhorse since the 1960s, a media report said on Tuesday.

According to government officials, India has about 15 CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

Over the past few years, they have emerged as one of the major military tools for airlift operations in places like Ladakh and Siachen glaciers to assist Indian forces deployed in these regions.

India received the first batch of Chinook helicopters in February 2019. Boeing completed the delivery of 15 Chinook helicopters to the Indian Air Force in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, said such an extreme step was taken out of an abundance of caution.

“One of the officials said the fires occurred in recent days”, the Journal said. “The US Army Materiel Command grounded the fleet of hundreds of helicopters out of an abundance of caution.”

Officials told the Wall Street Journal that the US Army was aware of a small number of engine fires in the helicopters, and the incidents didn’t result in any injuries or deaths.

However, officials were looking at more than 70 aircraft that contained a part suspected to be connected to the problem, officials told the daily.

The grounding of the heavy-lift Chinook helicopters could pose logistical challenges for American soldiers, depending on how long the order lasts, the Journal said.

With inputs from agencies

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India seeks details of reasons leading to grounding of US' Chinook CH-47 helicopters
India seeks details of reasons leading to grounding of US' Chinook CH-47 helicopters
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