BOEING GIVES CH-47F CHINOOK UPDATE AT AUSA
By Julian Nettlefold
25 Feb 09. To coincide with the delivery of the first CH-47F Chinook, Boeing gave an update to the Program during AUSA. The helicopter will be assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., the fourth unit scheduled to be equipped under the Army’s ongoing Chinook modernization program.
The CH-47F Chinooks are manufactured under a five-year U.S. Army contract awarded in August 2008.
“The timely delivery of our first multiyear CH-47F helicopter signifies the continued commitment of the U.S. Army and its Team Chinook partners to keep pace with our soldiers as they continue to serve this great nation,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Todd, CH-47F product manager. “Boeing has once again stepped up and proved it is a steadfast partner in our efforts to keep America safe and strong.”
“The Boeing Company has shown its commitment to this important program by
applying company funds and working in advance of the contract award to meet the delivery schedule,” said Tommy Filler, CH-47F program director for Boeing. “It takes a dedicated group, including the U.S. Army customer, suppliers, and Boeing teammates, to achieve this milestone event. Our performance is measured daily and our commitment to ‘Soldiers First’ sets high expectations for first-time quality, on-time delivery and customer satisfaction.”
Under the multiyear contract, Boeing will deliver 24 aircraft in 2009 and then begin a graduated delivery rate through successive years, culminating in 2015. The multiyear contract also contains priced options for an additional 24 aircraft, for a total of up to 215 Chinooks.
Lt. Col. Todd was supported by Mark Belleur, Manager Tandem Rotorcraft Business Development. He said that even with this order the Army was still 60 machines short of its optimum operational level.
The enhancements we have made to the CH47 are:
1. A new monolithic airframe which reduces maintenance down time.
2. A new flight control computer supplied by BAE.
3. 3. A new Rockwell Collins glass cockpit. The Editor was taken into the cockpit and shown the new five screen layout which can swap screens between pilot and co-pilot and has enhancements which greatly reduces workload and improves performance and fuel consumption.
4. The new autopilot allows landings in full Brown-out conditions with a go-around capability working with the GPS.
5. The payload is still 50,000lbs but the new airframe also gives future growth potential.
6. The Operational readiness is now 95%.
7. There is a new and improved IR suppression kits.
“The goal is for all export versions of the CH47 will be ‘F’ Models. There is a desparate shortage of Heavy Lift helicopters in Afghanistan with all armies using them to avoid the roadways which are full of IEDs.” Mark Belleur said.
Canada confirmed a contact to buy 16 ‘F’ Models with some configuration changes for delivery in July, having taken delivery of 6 ‘D’ Models from U.S. stock in December 08.
The U.K. has 8 Mk IIIs and 40 MK IIs which will be converted to Glass Cockpits whilst the eight Special Ops Chinooks (See above, the subject of the PAC Report) will be converted to old technology cockpits to get them into service sooner.
The Dutch have ordered 6 ‘F’ Models whilst Italy has ordered 16.
Japan is the biggest Chinook user outside the U.S. with 70 airframes, routinely buying 2 or 3 a year. They are also upgrading 750 engines with Honeywell 714 engine kits.
“There are 200 Chinooks in the international fleet and the aircraft continues to sell well.” Belleur concluded