Indian Defence Chief General Bipin Rawat Dies In Chopper Crash

Indian Defence Chief General Bipin Rawat Dies In Chopper Crash

Indian Defence Chief General Bipin Rawat Dies In Chopper Crash

Written by Staff Writer

08 Dec, 2021 | 6:03 pm

(Tamil Nadu); Indian Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and 13 others have died after their helicopter crashed shortly after take-off today in Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force said.

The helicopter hit a ridgeline and crashed into the trees, said Indian reports.

General Rawat’s wife, his Defence Assistant, security commandos and Air Force personnel were among the 14 people on board.

General Rawat had taken a flight from Delhi to Sulur in Coimbatore earlier today. The crash took place shortly after the Russian-made Mi-17 V5 chopper took off from the Air Force base in Sulur for Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills.

The helicopter was already making its descent and would have landed in 10 more minutes. It came down around 10 km from the nearest road, forcing emergency workers to trek to the accident site.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is closely monitoring the situation following the crash of IAF chopper. The minister reached the residence of the CDS officer to meet his family.

Singh has already briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue and is reported to brief parliament tomorrow.

General Rawat, 63, took charge as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff in January 2019.

The position was set up with the aim of integrating the three services – the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The “CDS” is seen to be the pivot of long-delayed modernisation of the defence forces.

He was also appointed the head of the newly-created Department of Military Affairs.

The crash comes a day after, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss defence and trade relations as India attempts to balance its ties with the United States.

The meeting between Modi and Putin in New Delhi comes hours after the defence and foreign ministers of the two countries held a strategic dialogue to discuss reinforcing ties between India and Russia.

The two countries also signed a slew of bilateral defence agreements, including India’s procurement of more than 600,000 assault rifles from Russia.

India’s Ministry of Defence called it a “landmark” deal that would replace a locally made rifle with a modern weapon, ending the “long quest” for its army’s needs.

India has also begun to receive S-400 missiles from Russia this month.

The two countries also signed an agreement to extend their military technology cooperation for the next decade.

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