The US Army has grounded its fleet of CH-47 Chinook helicopters after finding the helicopter to be at risk of engine fires. The Indian Air Force (IAF) also operates a fleet of Chinook Helicopters. 


Why has the US Army grounded Chinooks?

  • The US Army operates around 400 Chinook helicopters which are medium-lift, multi-role helicopters manufactured by Boeing who perform a variety of tasks in support of Army operations.
  • As per the news, the Chinook fleet has been grounded by the US Army as it is suspected that some engine fires broke out on an unspecified number of helicopters.
  • The same report said that while there have been no casualties because of these fires, yet a decision was taken to ground the helicopters as a precautionary measure.


What is the issue?

Reportedly, the issue is with the engine manufactured by Honeywell International Inc. The company has said that some components of the engine, known as O-rings, were not as per the design specifications.


What implications does this development have for IAF?

  • The IAF operates a fleet of 15 Chinook helicopters and it has not grounded them as it awaits more word on the US development.
  • The IAF is learnt to have sought more information from the US about the grounding of the helicopters done by the US Army.
  • The Chinooks were inducted into the IAF in 2019 in a ceremony at Chandigarh. One Helicopter Unit of Chinooks is based in Chandigarh while the other is based at Mohanbari airbase in Assam.