The U.S. Army has grounded an entire fleet of Chinook helicopters that have been in service on the battlefield since the 1960s, citing engine fire risks, media reports said Tuesday.
The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, said such extreme measures were the result of due diligence.
India has about 15 CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Over the past few years, it has emerged as one of the primary military tools for airlift operations supporting Indian forces deployed in areas such as Ladakh and Siachen Glacier.
India received its first batch of Chinook helicopters in February 2019. Boeing has completed the delivery of his 15 Chinook helicopters to the Indian Air Force in 2020.
Officials told The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. Army is aware of a small number of helicopter engine fires and that no one has been injured or killed in these incidents.
“One of the people said the fire occurred recently. The US Army Supply Command grounded hundreds of helicopters out of an abundance of caution,” the WSJ said.
But officials were investigating more than 70 aircraft containing parts suspected to be related to the problem, officials told the daily.
The grounding of heavy-lift Chinook helicopters could pose logistical challenges for U.S. troops, depending on how long the order lasts, the paper said.
The US Army has about 400 such helicopters in its fleet.
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