Boeing to develop CH-47F Chinook Block II

Deliveries of the CH-47F Chinook Block II should commence in 2023. (Boeing)

Boeing is developing an upgraded CH-47F Chinook featuring modifications to increase the heavy-lift helicopter’s lifting power.

Funded under a recent US$276 million US Army contract, Boeing will build and test three CH-47F Block II Chinooks to validate technology advancements including a more efficient drivetrain and new swept-tip rotor blades – designed to lift an additional 680kg on their own.

The Chinook’s current configuration of six fuel tanks (three on each side) will be reduced to two, allowing for the Block II to carry more fuel while losing weight.

And the fuselage’s structure will be strengthened in critical areas to allow the helicopter to carry an increased payload.

Boeing says it will begin building the test helicopters next year and expects to deliver the first Block II Chinook in 2023.

The US Army intends to upgrade more than 500 Chinooks to the Block II configuration, which would likely bring another two decades of work to Boeing’s Philadelphia site.

“The Army’s only heavy-lift helicopter exists to deliver decisive combat power for our ground commanders,” Colonel Greg Fortier, US Army project manager for Cargo Helicopters said in a statement.

“The Cargo family is anxious to … establish this critical program and deliver an adaptive air vehicle. Increasing payload capacity today enhances battlefield agility and prepares the Chinook for even greater performance gains in the future.”

Comments

  1. Corey says

    Can’t wait for ours to be upgraded. Let’s just hope the ADF will buy additional birds to further increase our capability.

  2. Derrick says

    Corey mate, settle down… We currently have 10 foxtrot currently flying, I don’t think we’re getting anymore any time soon. I think the we will get the block 2 upgrades at the same time as the US dose, we may get another 2 down the track but nothing is stated in the DWP but I could be wrong.

  3. Mick181 says

    Same old story, everytime AA run a story about a new ADF piece of equipment it’s “we should buy more” . Military equipment is expensive and the Govt last year released the funding Budget for the next 10 yrs which included 3 more Chinooks, now delivered, so to buy more Chinooks that means we get less of something else.

    So when you post “we should get more Chinooks” how about telling us what from the budgeted items we should get less of and why,

  4. Harry says

    Mick, how about less ludicrous spending on expensive contractors at the department, not paying for exercises on credit cards (raking up bills on interest), employing more civilians at the department than serving members (actually cheaper; and serving members should be in the field no?), for 2 more chinooks taking the fleet to where it had been many years ago? A bit controversial I know.

  5. John N says

    Harry,

    Whilst yes there were originally 12 CH-47C’s delivered to the RAAF back in the early 1970’s, my understanding was that only around half the fleet was operational at any one time. I believe they were rotated in and out of storage.

    Roll forward to today and we have 10 CH-47F in service, and there are also two flight simulators too, previously (again to my understanding), we did not have flight simulators with the C and D fleets, therefore operational airframes were utilised at a higher level for flight training.

    Should we acquire more airframes? Well that is a decision for Government in the future if needed, but I would suggest that the current fleet of 10 more capable F’s and two flight simulators is a pretty reasonable capability to have.

    Cheers,

    John N

  6. Harry says

    Hell yes its reasonable John, I don’t think anyone would argue otherwise. By the way where do you get your inside info from, wish I benefited from knowing as much as you seem too, if it is the case that they were rotated as you say.

  7. John N says

    Hi Harry,

    Where do I get my info? Well that’s a secret, if I told you I’d have to kill you (ha ha, joke ok?).

    Basically 50+ years of sucking information in from all sorts of sources (read most AA mags since it’s inception for example too), lots of trivia facts, etc, in my head!!

    Unfortunately I can’t download the info stuck in my head, but here’s a good way to help, there is a saying: “Google, use it, its your friend!” When you want to know something, just think of what you want to know and ask the right question.

    As for some more info on the Chinook in ADF service, you can look at the ADF-Serials website, and also see the link below:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CH-47_Chinook_in_Australian_service

    Cheers,

    John N