Tag Archives: Chinook

“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)

Australia to place follow-on Chinook order

Australia is set to place a follow-on order for the Boeing CH-47F Chinook. Three more of the heavy-lift helicopters are about to make their way to the Royal Australian Army, joining the seven already in service.

The US State Department notified the US Congress of the planned military sale worth US$180 million. The choppers will be equipped with the Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS), Honeywell H-764 gps/nav systems, infrared signature suppression systems and more standard systems. Pilots enjoy a full digital cockpit.

Chinook operations

The Chinooks can carry 33 fully-equipped troops, besides the standard crew of four (2 pilots, loadmaster, air crew) over a maximum range of 372 miles (600 km) at speeds up to 170 knots (315 km/h or 195 mph).

All Chinooks are flown by the Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade, from RAAF Townsville in northern Queensland, Australia. The airfield is situated a few miles north of the Lavarack Barracks, a major Australian Army ground units base.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Royal Australian Army CH-47F Chinook (Image © Boeing)

Final Chinook delivered to UK

Boeing delivered its final Chinook helicopter to the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 7 December, completing the United Kingdom’s most recent order and growing the fleet to 60 aircraft. The milestone coincided with the 35th  anniversary of Chinook operations in the UK. 

“Since they were introduced into service in 1980, our Chinook fleet has played an integral supporting role for British forces and have been deployed on an almost continuous basis since,” said Royal Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young, director of Helicopters in the United Kingdom’s Defence Equipment & Support organization. “These new Mark-6 helicopters will significantly enhance our existing heavy-lift helicopter and Special Forces capability. Our overall fleet of 60 Chinooks will support our frontline troops in current and future operations for decades to come.”

The RAF operated Chinooks in every major NATO engagement since 1980 and on virtually every continent. The service uses its Chinooks to perform troop transport, air assault and medical evacuation missions. In addition, the RAF and Ministry of Defence Equipment and Support have worked closely with Boeing to implement performance-based logistics initiatives to increase the readiness of Britain’s Chinook fleet. The Mk6 Chinook has a new, machined monolithic airframe, UK-specific avionics, rescue hoist and interoperable communication and navigation equipment.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk

Apaches and Chinooks for Indians

India is moving ahead with plans to buy 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters and 15 CH-47 Chinooks at a total cost of 2.5 bilion USD, it emerged on Tuesday 22 September. The deal means good business for Boeing, plus the end for a number of heavylift Mi-26 Halo and Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters in Indian service.

In New Delhi, the Indian cabinet committee on security gave the go ahead for the deal on Tuesday. Deliveries should start some time in 2018 or 2019. A follow on order for an additional 11 more Apaches and four extra Chinooks likely is on the cards.

The Boeing-deal has been in the works for a number of years, and marks the biggest Indian defense order in the last two years. Meanwhile, India is still working in a light attack chopper on its own under the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) program.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): An AH-64E Apache helicopter. (Image © US Army)

Seventh CH-47F for Australian Army

Boeing delivered the seventh CH-47F Chinook to the Australian Army last month, three weeks ahead of schedule, supporting modernization of Australia’s cargo helicopter fleet and eventually replacing the Commonwealth’s six older CH-47D Chinooks. The seven advanced Chinooks were ordered as part of contract signed in 2012.

Australia has one of the most advanced and highly capable Chinook fleets in the world. Major developments on the CH-47F include a digital cockpit, an advanced communications system and new avionics. Those allow the Australian Army to operate more effectively with international forces. The Australian Chinook configuration also includes a new rotor brake that enables shipboard operations by actively stopping the rotor blades rather than allowing the blades to naturally ‘spin down’ once the engine is turned off after landing.

“Our CH-47D Chinooks have been real workhorses for Australia, both here and on operations overseas, and our new CH-47F Chinooks are set to be even more dependable, affordable and capable assets,” said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Department of Defence. “We are very pleased with how Boeing and the United States Army have worked together to deliver this important capability to Australia ahead of schedule and on budget.”

The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade, operates the Chinooks from their home base in northern Queensland, Australia. Boeing Defence Australia will provide on-site operational maintenance support for the CH-47F aircraft, having supported the CH-47D since 2010.

Boeing is also providing Australia with EA-18G Growler, P-8A Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System and C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

Source: Boeing