The IAF choose the Ch-47 Chinook Twin Rotor heavy helicopters, not the Israeli Air Force said sources. Instead, the Israelis bought another helicopter for their forces, the CH-53K.
Why India got the Chinook heavy lifters over the CH-53K was a surprise. It was expected that the Israelis would be opting for the Chinook instead.
Indian Air Force (IAF)
Reports from last year, India got 15 of the twin-rotor Chinook from Boeing with the last 5 in 2020. The Indian Air Force (IAF) in Chandigarh received the last 5, before the lockdowns in India, reported Eurasian Times.
The Chinooks were sold in an agreement via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route after a contract was signed by the US and India. Before the heavy-lift twin-rotor, India had Russian Mi-26 heavy transport helicopters to add more to the fleet.
Reasons why Israel got the CH-53
Designed and built by Vertol and Boeing Vertol (Boeing Rotorcraft Systems) the dual rotor and dual-engine, the heavy lifter can transport equipment to different locations. Some speculated that Israel would choose the CH-53K King Stallion instead of the Chinook on February 25.
It was a surprise the Chinook Twin Rotor heavy helicopters were passed over because the CH-53 is similar to the Yasur. The Israeli Defense Force was the first to buy the CH-53K. According to IDF commanders, the King Stallion can do many missions and fit with Israeli Air Force needs for a flexible platform. The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion is a heavy lifter that is used by the US Marine Corps (USMC) and made by Lockheed Martin.
Compared to older CH-53s, the new version comes with three 7,500 hp (5,590 kW) engines, updated rotor blades, and a wide cabin inside. How many of the CH-53s are going to be bought, though some say 20 or 25.
Chinook for India
One reason why the Chinook multi-use helicopter was chosen by India is the twin-rotor that will give the Indian Air Force lifting capacity for all purposes. The twin rotors will do for humanitarian or combat purposes for flexible use.
The Twin rotor heavy lifter is a popular choice for multi-purpose helicopters. It was worth it for New Delhi to avail of the helicopters for its army's use.
Chinooks have several features to optimize operation with a glass cockpit for mission management including a digital control system for crew safety, cargo management to shift from missions fast. These systems allow easy handling of any kind of cargo that needs airlifting.
Capable of lifting 10-tonnes and can work even in high altitudes like the Himalayas, which is where the IAF operates. This mix of performance and capability is an advantage for the environment of Indian Forces. Other uses are support operations for the construction of infrastructure and border road projects in Northeastern India.
Boeing said Chinooks are useful for India who needs to operate in several climatic conditions, including crosswind conditions. The system can adapt to several conditions with ease.
Chinook and Stallion spec showdown
One of the differences in the Stallion can carry more than a Chinook at 35,000 lbs. as the max weight to carry. But another advantage of the CH-53 is three engines not like two on the Chinook. Chinook Twin Rotor heavy helicopters are just as capable and their service record tells it all.