The Cargo Helicopter (CH-47 Chinook) is a twin-turbine, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift transport helicopter with a useful load of up to 25,000 pounds. The Chinook entered Army service in the early 1960s with a CH-47A, B, or C model designation. In 1980, the early model aircraft were remanufactured to the current CH-47D configuration with the last CH-47Ds manufactured in 1993. Today, forty-six percent of the Army's CH-47D fleet was originally manufactured prior to 1966. As the Army's only heavy lift helicopter, the mission of the CH-47 is to transport troops (including air assault), supplies, weapons, and other cargo in combat, combat support and service support operations.
What has the Army done? Similar to the CH-47D, CH-47F key modifications integrate a new-machined airframe, an upgraded T55-GA-714A engine to restore performance capability, Common Avionics Architecture System, Air Warrior, Common Missile Warning System, enhanced air transportability, digital automatic flight control system (DAFCS), and an Extended Range Fuel System II for self-deployment missions. The CH-47F also incorporates reliability and maintainability improvements including airframe tuning for vibration reduction, corrosion protection, digital source collectors, and an automated maintenance program with a 400-hour phase interval.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The CH-47F is expected to remain the Army's heavy lift helicopter until at least the 2020-2025 timeframe. The total CH-47 program remanufactures CH-47Ds and Special Operations Aviation MH-47s to the CH-47F/MH-47G configuration and procures new build CH-47F aircraft to meet the Army Aviation Transformation full requirement for Chinook aircraft. The CH-47F program received Full Rate Production (FRP) approval on 22 November 2004. Currently on contract for 95 CH-47F aircraft, first deliveries occurred in November 2006. The First CH-47F Unit will be equipped in 2007.
Why is this important to the Army? With its high altitude and payload capability, the CH-47 is vital to the Global War On Terror and Homeland Security needs of our nation. Secondary missions include medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drops, disaster relief, and search and rescue. These aircraft are fielded to heavy helicopter companies and Special Operations Aviation. The CH-47F recapitalization program will provide a more reliable, less costly to operate aircraft compatible with Joint digital connectivity requirements in the Future Force with an extended life of approximately 20 years.
- This topic was taken directly from the 2007 Army Posture Statement.
- 2007 Strategic Communication Guide - Be Army Strong, and Army Smart. Read the 2007 Army Strategic Communications Guide.