The CH-47D Chinook helicopter carries out transportation of troops, artillery, supplies and equipment to the battlefield.
Other roles include medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search and rescue, disaster relief, fire-fighting and heavy construction. 163 CH-47Ds took part in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Over 1,179 Chinooks are operational worldwide. Boeing has delivered more than 480 CH-47D Chinooks to the US Army and National Guard. The US Army Chinooks are undergoing digital improvement to keep the aircraft on the war field for over 20 years.
Boeing has also exported the helicopter to military and commercial operators in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, Spain, the UK and three Far East countries.
Chinooks are under licensed production by AgustaWestland of Italy and Kawasaki in Japan. Chinooks built by AgustaWestland have been exported to Egypt, Greece, Iran, Libya and Morocco.
The 100th Chinook CH 47F was delivered to the US Army in August 2010. The 100th modified Chinook CH 47F was delivered to the US Army in June 2012.
The CH-47F design features alterations to the airframe structure to reduce the effects of vibration, as well as other structural enhancements the cockpit, cabin, aft section, pylon and ramp.
The Rockwell Collins digital cockpit is fitted with the common avionics architecture system (CAAS) with improved electrical, avionics and communication systems. CAAS includes: five multi-function displays, moving map display; digital modem; BAE Systems digital advanced flight control system (DAFCS); data transfer system storing preflight and mission data.
The more powerful Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines are fitted with FADEC (full authority digital engine control) and have thrust of 3,529kW (4,733shp). The operating range is increased to 609km (329nm) with mission radius of 370.4km (200nm).
Selex announced in March 2010 that it would provide new avionics equipment and systems for 16 Chinook CH-47F helicopters belonging to Italian Army under the contract awarded by AgustaWestland. Selex will replace the old systems with new systems.
In May 2011, the US Army placed a $23.7m contract with Boeing for specialised avionics and airframe modifications to 49 CH-47F helicopters by April 2012. In January 2012, the army ordered 14 CH-47F Chinook helicopters worth $370m. Deliveries are expected to be completed by 2014.
L-3 Avionics Systems received a contract worth $18.6m from the US Army in March 2013, to provide avionics displays for upgraded CH-47s. The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2017.
US Army special operations forces also operate 36 special operations Chinooks, designated as MH-47D and MH-47E. These aircraft are being upgraded to MH-47G standard with a fully integrated digital common avionics architecture system (CAAS). The first was delivered in May 2004.
In November 2006, a version of the MH-47G, the HH-47, was selected for the USAF combat search and rescue (CSAR-X) requirement for 141 new helicopters to replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. However, in March 2007, the USAF announced that, following General Accounting Office (GAO) recommendations, it would issue a request for the resubmission of the CSAR-X proposals.
In October 2007, the USAF decided to re-open the contest and issued new request for proposals. In December 2008, the USAF again restarted the competition but did not specify a date for contract award. The CSAR-X programme was cancelled in 2009.
In August 2010, UK defence accepted fielding kits and 28 Honeywell T55-L-714A engines for Chinook helicopters for operation in Afghanistan.
The cockpit accommodates two pilots and an observer. An advanced digital cockpit has been developed by Boeing and Honeywell. The cockpit is equipped with multifunction liquid crystal displays and electronic flight instruments. The crew is equipped with ANVIS-7 night-vision goggles from Elbit and the cockpit is night-vision-goggle (NVG) compatible.
The communications suite includes jam resistant HF and UHF radio systems developed and supplied by Rockwell Collins and Raytheon. The helicopter is equipped with an AN/APX-100 identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogator from AlliedSignal.
Three machine guns can be mounted on the helicopter: two in the crew door on the starboard side and one window-mounted on the port side.
In May 2008 Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract to equip the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s (RNLAF) CH-47Fs with the AAR-54 missile warning system. The systems were equipped in January 2010.
The Chinook is equipped with a suite of countermeasures systems selected by the customer country.
The special forces variant of the Chinook, MH-47E, is fitted with the ATK AN/AAR-47 missile approach warner, Northrop Grumman ALQ-162 Shadowbox jammer, ITT ALQ-136(V) pulse jammer, Raytheon APR-39A radar warner and BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions (formerly Tracor) M-130 chaff and flare dispenser.
The helicopter is equipped with a Rockwell Collins CP1516-ASQ target hand-off system. Australian Chinooks are being fitted with EADS AN/AAR-60 MILDS missile warning system.
The MH-47E is equipped with an advanced radar system, the Raytheon AN/APQ-174A, for terrain-following flight, air-to-ground ranging and ground mapping. A Raytheon AN/AAQ-16 forward-looking infrared (FLIR) is installed in the nose of the helicopter and the cockpit is fitted with a moving map display.
The Chinook has a triple-hook system, which provides stability to large external loads or the capacity for multiple external loads. Large external loads such as 155mm howitzers can be transported at speeds up to 260km/h using the triple-hook load configuration.
Multiple external loads can be delivered to three separate destinations in one sortie. The central hook is rated to carry up to 12,000kg and the other two hooks 7,500kg each. Cargo handling systems are provided by AAR Corp, Cargo Systems of Goldsboro, North Carolina.
The cabin provides 42m³ of cargo space and 21m² of cargo floor area and can accommodate two HMMWVs (high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle) or a HMMWV together with 105mm howitzer and gun crew.
The main cabin can hold from 33 fully equipped troops to 50 troops, according to the seating arrangements and equipment being carried. For medical evacuation, the cabin can accommodate 24 litters (stretchers). Ramp operations can be carried out on water using an optional power-down ramp and water dam configuration.
The helicopter is equipped with two T55-L-712 turboshaft engines from Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal), which are pod-mounted on either side of the rear pylon under the rear rotor blades. The engine provides a continuous power of 3,000shp and maximum power of 3,750shp. The Honeywell T55-714 engine, which is being fitted to CH-47D, F and G models, is equipped with FADEC (full authority digital electronic control) from Goodrich.
The self-sealing fuel tanks are mounted in external fairings on the sides of the fuselage. The fixed tanks hold 3,900l of fuel. Three additional fuel tanks can be carried in the cargo area. The range of the helicopter can be extended by in-flight refuelling.
Landing gear for the CH-47F is supplied by Cirtor Aerospace of Corona, California.
The US Army’s 397 CH-47D helicopters are being upgraded to CH-47F standard. The low rate initial production (LRIP) contract for seven systems was signed in January 2003. Deliveries began in July 2004 and will conclude in 2018.
In December 2003, the US Army ordered seven new CH-46F helicopters to replace those lost in action and, in January 2005, an additional ten new-build CH-47F helicopters. Deliveries began in June 2006 and were scheduled to complete in 2008, but were delayed. In January 2007, the US Army ordered 16 new and nine re-manufactured CH-47F with options on 22 new and 19 re-manufactured helicopters. In November 2008, Boeing delivered the third CH-47F to the US Army, as it was certified as ready for combat in July 2007.
The CH-46F was approved for full-rate production and entered operational service in August 2007. In February 2008, the US Army ordered another 11 new-build helicopters, bringing the number of new CH-47F ordered to 59.
In September 2006, the Netherlands requested the foreign military sale of up to nine CH-47F helicopters with the common avionics architecture system and the upgrade of 11 CH-47D helicopters to CH-47F configuration, including the CAAS cockpit. An order for six new helicopters was placed in February 2007. First two of the six new helicopters were delivered in October 2012.
In April 2008, Canada requested the sale of six used CH-47D helicopters from the US for short-term deployment to Afghanistan.
The first was delivered in November 2008. Also in April 2008, Canada issued a request for proposal to Boeing for the longer term procurement of 16 medium-to-heavy lift (MHLH) Chinook helicopters.
In August 2009, Canada entered into a contract with Boeing to buy 15 CH-47Fs. Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) received its first CH-147F in June 2013 and fifth in October 2013.
The RCAF will receive another two helicopters by the end of 2013 and the remaining eight by June 2014.
Boeing will provide in-service support to the Canadian CH-147F helicopters for the next 20 years under a Performance-Based Logistics contract.
In December 2009, the UK Government announced the purchase of 22 CH-47F Chinooks, which are scheduled to be delivered from 2013.
In August 2011, Boeing was again contracted for $2.51bn to provide 14 new CH-47 Chinook helicopters to the UK Royal Air Force. Deliveries will be completed between 2013 and 2015.
In August 2008, Boeing received a $4.3bn five-year contract from the US Army for 191 CH-47F helicopters, 109 new-build and 72 re-manufactured. Boeing delivered the first helicopter in February 2009. Final deliveries will conclude by 2015. The contract also has provision for a priced option to procure 24 additional aircraft.
In May 2009 Boeing and AgustaWestland signed a $1.23bn contract to provide 16 ICH-47 helicopters for the Italian Army and the deliveries are scheduled for 2013.
Australia ordered seven CH-47Fs in March 2010, which are scheduled to substitute CH-47Ds between 2014 and 2017. The first two are scheduled to enter service in 2014 and the other five by 2017. In December 2011, it ordered two CH-47D Chinook transport helicopters for domestic use.
In October 2012, Boeing was awarded a $1bn contract to provide CH-47 Chinook helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The new helicopters are expected to replace IAF’s Mi-26 choppers.
The Global Military Rotorcraft Market 2011-2021
This project forms part of our recent analysis and forecasts of the global military rotorcraft market available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence. For more information click here or contact us: EMEA: +44 20 7936 6783; Americas: +1 415 439 4914; Asia Pacific: +61 2 9947 9709 or via email.
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