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List Of Helicopters Used By Indian Air Force

Jai Hind future warriors today we are going to talk about the helicopters used by the Indian Airforce. We will be covering the topics in the following manner: Role of...

Jai Hind future warriors today we are going to talk about the helicopters used by the Indian Airforce. We will be covering the topics in the following manner:

List Of Helicopters Used By Indian Air Force
  1. Role of Helicopters
  2. Boeing Apache 64-E
  3. CH-47 Chinook
  4. Mil MI-17 V5
  5. Mil Mi-24/Mil MI-25/MI-35
  6. Mil Mi-26
  7. HAL Chetak
  8. HAL Cheetah
  9. HAL Dhruv ALH
  10. HAL Light Utility Helicopter

Role of Helicopters

The most common use of helicopters is the transport of troops, but transport helicopters can be modified or converted to perform other missions such as combat search and rescue (CSAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), and airborne command post, or even armed with weapons for attacking ground targets. Along with the destruction attack helicopters can carry out we also see that high-ranking officials including the President of India travel in VIP helicopters (modified versions of the helicopters), mostly for their official visits,

Boeing Apache AH-64E

  • Origin: USA
  • Type: Attack
  • In-Service: 22

The Attack Helicopter fleet of IAF got a major boost with the induction of Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has inducted a total of 16 of these machines till date, the latest being eight Apache reaching the Pathankot Air Force Station. By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches, which is known as the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. The AH-64 E is known for its greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability, and cognitive decision aiding and is uniquely suited to meet the commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack—in both land and littoral environments—all without reconfiguration.

CH-47 Chinook

  • Origin: USA
  • Type: Heavy Transport
  • In-Service: 15

The Boeing-made CH-47F (I) Chinooks for the Indian Air Force will boost the nation’s heavy heli-lift capability. A total of 6 Chinooks of the 15 Chinooks on order have been delivered to India by now. The CH-47 Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter that provides strategic airlift capability across the full spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions. The CH-47F was made for the U.S. Army and international defence forces. It contains a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system, Common Aviation Architecture, and advanced cargo-handling capabilities that enhance the aircraft’s mission performance and handling characteristics. It is used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard, and the armed forces of more than 19 countries.

Mil MI-17 V5

  • Origin: Russia
  • Type: Utility Transport
  • In-Service: 223

The Mi-17 V5 is a twin-turbine transport helicopter used by the IAF to transport the Prime Minister of India domestically. It is also used for other transport activities and is an advanced and trusted platform equipped with modern avionics and glass cockpit instrumentation and has state-of-art navigational equipment, weather radar and is NVG-compatible. The MI-17 V5 is a version of the MI-17 family of helicopters made by erstwhile Soviet and now Russian Mil Helicopter Company. The Medium Lift Helicopter is also used to ferry personnel to remote mountain helipads, carrying out SAR (Search and Rescue Operations) and logistic support tasks in the island territories, Siachen Glacier, apart from the armed role.

Mil Mi-24/Mil MI-25/MI-35

  • Origin: Russia
  • Type: Attack
  • In-Service: 15 (Total)

The attack helicopters that were used to guard India before the arrival of the US-made Apache were the Mil MI-25 and MI-35, Twin engine turboshaft, assault, and anti-armor helicopters that are capable of carrying 8 men assault squad. The Mi-25 was the first Attack Helicopter Squadron of IAF and was raised on 1st Nov 1983. The Mi-35 was inducted in April 1990. The attack helicopters have a four-barrel 12.7 mm rotary gun in the nose barbette and up to 1500 Kg of external ordnance including Scorpion anti-tank missiles. It has a max cruise speed of 310 km/hr.

Mil MI-26

  • Origin: Russia
  • Type: Heavy-Transport

Undoubtedly the pride of the Indian Air Force and also the biggest of the lot, the Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopter has been used for operations in the mountains of Northern India. The Russian-origin Mil-made Twin engine turboshaft is a military heavy-lift helicopter with a carrying capacity of 70 combat troops or a 20,000 kg payload. It has a max speed of 295 km/hr.

HAL Chetak

  • Origin: France and then made in India (by HAL)
  • Type: Light Utility
  • In-Service: 77

The Aérospatiale Alouette III is a single-engine, light utility helicopter manufactured in India under license by HAL and is developed by French aircraft company Sud-Aviation. While the HAL Chetak is being gradually replaced by HAL Dhruv, the heli has been used for training, transport, CASEVAC (casualty evacuation), communications, and liaison roles. The helicopter can carry 6 passengers or a 500 kg load. It has a max speed of 220 km/hr.

HAL Cheetah

  • Origin: France and then made in India (by HAL)
  • Type: Light Utility
  • In-Service: 17

The Cheetah helicopter known as Alouette II is a light helicopter originally manufactured by Sud Aviation and later Aérospatiale, both of France.

The Cheetah is the rechristened Lama which has been derived from the Alouette II. The Lama mated the Alouette’s airframe with the larger Alouette III’s dynamic components including the Artouste IIIB engine. On 17 March 1969, the SA315B Lama made its maiden flight. Three years later, on 21 June 1972, Jean Boulet of France, piloting a Lama, broke the high altitude record for a helicopter flight reaching 12,442 meters (40,820 feet), followed by the longest autorotation in history. It is no small testimony to the Lama’s design that the altitude record stands to this day. The Cheetah has been extensively used in the Himalayas, where it is operating at altitudes beyond 20,000 ft, and in Siachen, it is the backbone of our military’s strategic military presence.

The single-engine helicopter modified and then made by HAL in India was developed to meet high altitude operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. The Cheetah helicopter fleet has been the backbone of SAR, Casualty Evacuation, and RTR (Route Transport Role) role in the IAF. The Cheetah has a capacity to carry 3 passengers or 100 kg external sling loads. It has a max cruise speed of 121 km/hr and can climb to 1 km in 4 minutes.


  • Origin: India (by HAL)
  • Type: Utility
  • In-Service: 107

The Dhruv ALH is a helicopter developed and manufactured by HAL and entered service in 2002. The indigenous ALH fleet in IAF has steadily grown from conventional ALH Mk-I to state-of-the-art ‘Glass’ cockpit ALH Mk-III. A helicopter is a twin-engine machine that can carry 14 passengers with two pilots and has a cruise speed of 250 km/hr. It is also used by the Sarang Helicopter Display Team, apart from SAR, Cas Evac, and RTR operations. There’s also an attack variant of the HAL Dhruv called HAL Rudra

HAL Light Combat Helicopter

  • Origin: India (by HAL)
  • Type: Attack
  • In-Service: 3

Equipped with a two-person tandem cockpit to accommodate a pilot and co-pilot/gunner, it has been developed to perform both the anti-infantry and anti-armor missions. In addition to these roles, the LCH is intended to be used for a variety of operational purposes, such as performing air defense against slow-moving aerial targets, including both manned aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), participation in counter-insurgency operations (COIN) and Counter Surface Force Operations (CSFO), the destruction of enemy air defence operations and wider offensive use during urban warfare conditions, escort to special heliborne operations (SHBO), support of combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations, and armed aerial scouting duties. In terms of its basic configuration, the LCH possesses a relatively narrow fuselage and is equipped with stealth profiling, armour protection, and is equipped to conduct day-and-night combat operations.


Fact: ‘Sarang’ is the helicopter aerobatic team of the Indian Air Force.

Hope this post was informative for you. For more such posts related to defence exams and SSB interviews stay tuned.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About Indian Air Force Fighter Aircraft

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