The Republic of China is the latest customer to order the new CH-47SD Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, and three "Super D" Chinooks will arrive in Taiwan in 2002.
The Republic of China recently approved and signed an initial letter of agreement (LOA) for procurement of three CH-47SD tandem rotor Chinooks, a material order for production of six additional Chinooks and related support services. The LOA is a final step in a foreign military sale (FMS) program, through which Boeing will manufacture CH-47SDs for the U.S. Army, which delivers the aircraft to the Republic of China. The program contract should be completed and signed by the end of 1999.
The FMS program will significantly increase the capabilities of Taiwan's heavy-lift helicopter fleet, which had consisted of three Boeing 234 Commercial Chinooks, flown by the Republic of China Army (ROCA) primarily for disaster relief, search and rescue and VIP transport.
"We are pleased to execute this FMS contract," said Charles A. Vehlow, vice president and general manager, U.S. Army and Rotorcraft Programs. "Taiwan has long been a valued Chinook customer, and acquisition of CH-47SDs through the U.S. Army will provide them increased performance for a wide variety of missions with excellent operational economy."
The CH-47SD provides several improvements that increase operational capability, including long-range fuel tanks with 2,068-gallon capacity, doubling the operational range of the earlier D-model; a fully integrated cockpit management system, with full-color digital display units and automated flight controls; AlliedSignal T55-L-714A engines with full authority digital engine controls (FADEC), producing 4,075 maximum continuous shaft horsepower (3,039 kW), more than eight percent greater output than any CH-47D; and the longer "radar nose" that can accommodate radar antennas.
The "Super D" can fly at a 54,000-lb. maximum gross weight at higher density altitudes than earlier model Chinook and cruise at 140 knots (250 km/hr) at 50,000-lb mission weight on a standard day. Vertical rate of climb will be 1,846 feet (563 meters) and ceiling 11,100 feet (3,383 meters), with a range of more than 650 nautical miles (1,208 km). This performance is available with a useful load of up to 27,686 lbs. (12,553 kg).
The new Chinook will carry a three-person crew and standard seating for 37 passengers in the main cabin, although up to 55 troop seats can be installed. A variety of additional "plug-in" option kits are available to configure the Super D for operations on water or in snow, or several specialized missions such as search and rescue, fire-fighting and special operations.
The Boeing Company in Philadelphia develops and produces military rotorcraft in service worldwide. Among its products are the CH-47 Chinook, the RAH-66 Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter, and the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.