Tag Archives: CH-46

“German Air Force likely flies Chinooks in 2020”

The German Air Force will be operating the Boeing “CH-47GE” Chinook from 2020 and onward, as a replacement of its current Sikorsky CH-53G heavy-lift helicopter. Although no official plans have been announced yet, it is a likely scenario looking at the options the military decision makers in Berlin will have to weigh.

While Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin are currently putting the new CH-53K King Stallion through its testing face, the chances of this newer 33 ton rotary wing winning the replacement order for Germany’s current G-versions are getting slimmer. Berlin might very well go for the “CH-47GE” (German Edition) of the Boeing Chinook for three very good reasons.

Supporting the German-Dutch Army Corps, a Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47F Chinook (Image  © Marcel Burger)
Supporting the German-Dutch Army Corps, a Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47F Chinook (Image © Marcel Burger)

With NATO allies

First, with 40 to 50 million a piece, the most modern Chinook will costs about half of the CH-53K, which has a base price tag of 93 million. Second Boeing is working hard to increase both lift and range of its CH-47 model. Third the interoperability with important NATO allies will improve big time, making even joint maintenance and further cost reduction possible. For example, the US Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Germany flies the Chinook, as well as the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s support to 1 German Dutch Army Corps of 30,000 troops.

Boeing CH-47 Chinooks of the US Army's 12th Combat Aviation Regiment preparing for Afghanistan in Germany, March 2014 (Image © Staff Sgt. Caleb Barrieau / USARE)
Boeing CH-47 Chinooks of the US Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Regiment preparing for Afghanistan in Germany, March 2014 (Image © Staff Sgt. Caleb Barrieau / USARE)

The new Chinook

Boeing plans to start testing its newest rotor blade later this year in Mesa, Arizona. Equipped with new honeycomb rotor blades, more powerful engines and other smart solutions like a new digital advanced flight-control system Boeing hopes to increase the maximum take-off weight of its most current CH-47F so the useful load will be almost 30,000 lb (13,600 kilograms). That’s 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) more than the projected Block 2 upgrade for the US Army. It puts the new Chinook on the map as air lifter for almost all smaller German Army equipment, all the way up to the Mowag Eagle IV and V wheeled vehicles of which the Bundeswehr has orderd 670.

First RCAF Chinook CH-147F arrives at Ottawa (Image © Ken Allan / RCAF)
First RCAF Chinook CH-147F arrives at Ottawa (Image © Ken Allan / RCAF)

Royal Canadian Air Force Extended Range

As for distance, the Royal Canadian Air Force already has good experiences with Extend Range fuel tanks on its 15 CH-147F Chinooks flying with 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron out of Petawawa, Ontario. The choppers are able to operate on distances up to 595 nautical miles (1,100 km) from home before refueling is needed. The CH-53K can fly up to 460 nautical miles (852 km) without reserves, but the Sikorsky’s combat range is 90 nautical miles (almost 170 km) less than that of the base-model CH-47F.


Check our visit to the
CH-53GA upgrade facilities in Donauwörth, Germany

(Image © Dennis Spronk)
(Image © Dennis Spronk)


Current CH-53GA

Whatever the outcome of the debate to replace the current heavy-lift chopper of the German Armed Forces, the Boeing “CH-47GE” currently has the best cards on the table. Until the new rotary wing will arrive, the Luftwaffe will soldier on with its 40 recently modernized CH-53GA and its remaining 26 CH-53s of the older G/GS standard making up a fleet of 66 impressive machines.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com senior contributor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): A Royal Netherlands Air Force CH-47 near the city of Arnhem, in 2014 (Image © Dennis Spronk)

The current German rotary air lift at full speed: a CH-53 lifting essential needs into a combat zone (Image  © Marcel Burger)
The current German rotary air lift at full speed: a CH-53 lifting essential needs into a combat zone (Image © Marcel Burger)

Bye bye Battle Phrog

The United States Marines Corps said farewell to its final CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter, nicknamed Battle Phrog, during a ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton in California on Thursday 9 April. New MV-22 Ospreys replace the old helicopters of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164 (HMMT-164).

The retirement of HMMT-164’s helos marks the end of over 50 years of USMC Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight operations. The type first flew in 1962 and since served in every major conflict the US was involved in. The type was often mistaken for its bigger brother, the CH-47 Chinook.

The US Navy also used the Sea Knight but retired its last in 2004 already, replacing it with the MH-60S Sea Hawk. For the USMC, the MV-22 Osprey was the choice. The new tilt rotor is already in use with several USMC squadron.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A United States Marine Corps CH-46, seen here in October 2000. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

An US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey taxis after landing at MCAS on August 12, 2013. The tilt-rotor aircraft succeed the CH-46E helicopters. The Ospreys can fly twice as fast, carry three times as much and fly four times the distance of the older CH-46E helicopter it is replacing. (Image © Lance Cpl. Stephen Himes / USMC)
An US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey taxis after landing at MCAS on August 12, 2013. The tilt-rotor aircraft succeed the CH-46E helicopters. The Ospreys can fly twice as fast, carry three times as much and fly four times the distance of the older CH-46E helicopter it is replacing. (Image © Lance Cpl. Stephen Himes / USMC)