PHILADELPHIA, Pa. --- Boeing will upgrade all 17 of Spain’s CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the F-model configuration, adding features such as the digital automatic flight control system, common avionics architecture system and advanced cargo handling to align that country’s fleet with those of other nations.
This is the first order from a non-U.S. customer placed through a contract Boeing and the U.S. Army signed in July. That contract covers six new F-models for the U.S. and options for up to 150 more Chinooks for U.S. and international customers. Deliveries to Spain begin in 2021.
“The Chinook is a versatile aircraft flown by eight NATO nations, including Spain,” said Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Cargo and Utility Helicopters and H-47 program manager. “With this contract, Spain’s Chinook crews will enjoy the platform’s current technology and capability, while the country gets an affordable upgrade that builds on its existing H-47 investment.”
The CH-47F is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter. In addition to the U.S. Army and Special Operations Forces, Chinooks are currently in service or under contract with 19 international defense forces. It can fly at speeds exceeding 175 mph and carry payloads greater than 21,000 lbs.
In 2017, Boeing and the U.S. Army announced development of CH-47F Block II, which will incorporate a new rotor blade, redesigned fuel system, improved drivetrain and structural improvements to the fuselage.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Spain’s Council of Ministers approved on Sept. 28 the award of the Chinook modernization contract for an estimated value of 819,229,270.00 euros.
The modernization will increase the operational capability in all theaters of operations, increase the safety of the occupants during the execution of the mission, and ensure the necessary interoperability with allied armies.
Likewise, maintenance costs will be reduced in the short, medium and long term, as it is estimated that the new 'F' version will require approximately 56% fewer maintenance hours per flight hour.
The modernization activities will begin in 2018, which will enable the reception of the first upgraded helicopter in 2021, and will be completed in 2025.)