The US Army is opting for more heavily modified Boeing MH-47G Chinook helicopters, US sources say.
Built for the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command the last of eight ordered choppers of the type is due to be delivered this year. But the Army wants more and is said to be working with Boeing to incorporate newer functions into a new batch of MH-47s – which will partly be copied from the “standard” CH-47F – and the possibility to transport heavier loads by improving the rotor blades.
Apart from the very visible in-flight refuelling probe, the MH-47G has an strengthened airframe, additional fuel tanks to give it additional range, an advanced digital flight control system and other niceties like Forward-looking Infrared (FLIR) and a radar for extreme low-level flights in adverse weather conditions.
Boeing completed initial flight and delivery of the first, new-build MH-47G configured Chinook helicopter on 29 September 2014 – as part of a 300 million USD program. The US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, received 25 earlier version MH-47Es in the 1990s.
2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The first US Army MH-47G Chinook in September 2014 (Image © Boeing)