17 Chinooks are to be upgraded by Boeing, bringing digital automatic flight control systems, common avionics architecture and advanced cargo handling capability to the Spanish fleet.
As the first order placed by a non-US customer, the contract award also marks a major milestone for a partnership between the US Army and Boeing. That partnership now extends to six new F-model Chinooks in the United States, with the option for a further 150 in both the US and overseas. Deliveries to Spain are scheduled to begin in 2021.
“The Chinook is a versatile aircraft flown by eight NATO nations, including Spain,” said Chuck Dabundo, Vice President of 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.”
For the uninitiated, the CH-47F is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter. In addition to the US Army and Special Operations Forces, Chinooks are currently in service or under contract with 19 separate international defence forces. The helicopter can fly at speeds exceeding 175 mph and carry payloads greater than 21,000 lbs.
In 2017, Boeing and the US Army announced the development of CH-47F Block II, which will incorporate a new rotor blade, redesigned fuel system, improved drivetrain and structural improvements to the fuselage.
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