The Indian Army Aviation suffered a setback when a Cheetah helicopter crashed during an operational sortie near Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh. According to reports, the helicopter lost contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at around 9:15 am and crashed near Mandala, located west of Bomdila. The Army has launched a search and rescue mission to locate the pilots.
The incident highlights the urgent need to replace the ageing Chetak and Cheetah helicopters used by the Indian Air Force and Army. These helicopters are the lifeline of the forces in high-altitude regions, but they are in dire need of replacement. Presently, around 200 Cheetah and Chetak helicopters remain in service.
In a bid to enhance its overall combat aviation profile, the Indian Army is looking to induct 95 Light Combat Helicopters and 110 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) in the future, as announced by Army Chief General Manoj Pande last month.
The incident serves as a reminder of the critical role played by the military’s aviation assets in safeguarding the nation’s borders. The replacement of ageing helicopters will enable the Indian Armed Forces to continue their operations effectively and efficiently.