Hyderabad, Commemorating 60 glorious years of service by Chetak Helicopter in the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a Conclave hosted by IAF at Air Force Station, Hakimpet in Hyderabad on April 2.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and AOC-in-C Training Command Air Marshal Manavendra Singh were present along with other distinguished dignitaries and senior officers of the Armed Forces. Former Chiefs of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal FH Major (Retd), Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne (Retd) and Former Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh (Retd) were among the key attendees.
On the occasion, the Defence Minister released a Special Cover, a Coffee Table Book and a Commemorative Movie on Chetak Helicopters.
During his keynote address, the Defence Minister highlighted the stellar performance of the Chetak helicopter, both during peace and in conflict, in the past six decades, as also its contributions to foster the spirit of integration and jointmanship.
He also acknowledged the immense contribution of all those involved in keeping the machine flying successfully, especially Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which has been the flag-bearer for ‘Aatmanirbharta’ by manufacturing this machine under license since 1965. The Defence Minister brought out how HAL built up cutting edge helicopters design, development and production capabilities based on this experience.
The Chief of the Air Staff, during his inaugural address, acknowledged the immense contributions by the Chetak in all conflicts since its induction in 1962, as well as its peacetime effort all across the country, including the Siachen Glacier.
The Defence Minister witnessed the photo exhibition showcasing 60 years of glorious service of Chetak helicopter and interacted with Armed Forces veterans and other dignitaries who were present at the Conclave.
Celebrating the event, a remarkable fly-past by 26 aircraft including Chetaks, Pilatus, Kirans, Hawks, Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) and a Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) was an eye catcher for everyone. The finale was a diamond formation fly past by eight Chetak helicopters, the machine which continues to render yeomen service across the length and breadth of the country. This magnificent machine still operates across all the terrains and is the basic training helicopter for pilots of the three Services.