Orders For Venerable Twin-Rotor Lifter Raised To 59
Boeing announced Thursday it was awarded a $280.5 million US
Army contract for 11 new CH-47F Chinook helicopters, increasing the
number of new Chinooks on contract to 59. Aircraft deliveries under
this award will begin in 2011.
"This new contract award represents a long-term commitment to
supporting our warfighters," said Ken Eland, Boeing CH-47F program
director. "Our commitment is to continue the high level of quality
and performance we established in 2007."
Since Boeing unveiled the aircraft at its Ridley Township, PA
production facility in June 2006, Boeing says the latest variant to
the erstwhile Chinook has successfully completed all evaluations,
including airworthiness, functional and operational testing at Fort
Campbell, KY. Units also have completed more than 1,000 flight
hours, including Joint Readiness Training Center training and a
wide range of night-vision-goggle training exercises that simulated
air assault, combat resupply and transport operations.
The CH-47F helicopter features a modernized airframe, a Rockwell
Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit and a
BAE Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS). The CAAS
cockpit greatly improves aircrew situational awareness, while DAFCS
provides dramatically improved flight control capabilities through
features such as "hover hold," "altitude hold" and "beep down" that
improve performance and safety in brownout situations as well as
the entire flight envelope.
Advanced avionics also incorporate improved situational
awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and
a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission
Improved survivability features include Common Missile Warning
and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser Systems. The entire suite of
improved cockpit capabilities will apply to other H-47 models.
Powered by two 4,868-horsepower Honeywell engines, the new
CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and transport more
than 21,000 pounds. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation
Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius of more than 400
As ANN has reported, another
Chinook variant -- the HH-47 -- is in competition with offerings
from Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky for the US Air Force's Combat
Search and Rescue (CSAR-X) contract. The Chinook won the original
bid in November 2006, but the Air Force reopened the call for bids
last year after protests from the other two companies.