The Boeing Company's [NYSE: BA] new CH-47F Chinook helicopter has successfully completed U.S. Army operational testing at Ft. Campbell, Ky., one of the aircraft's final performance evaluations before it is fielded in July.
"This technologically advanced aircraft will meet the needs of our warfighters today and well into the future," said Jack Dougherty, director, Boeing H-47 programs. "Fielding the CH-47F will begin the next great chapter in Army aviation."
Completed ahead of schedule by Bravo Company (Varsity), 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the tests simulated numerous mission scenarios, including air assault, combat re-supply and transport operations, over more than 60 flight test hours.
"Successful completion of this Operational Test milestone marks a significant point in the Army's Chinook life," said Lt. Col. Thomas Todd, product manager, CH-47F. "It paves the way for operational combat units to equip, train and deploy with the new CH-47F, the premier heavy-lift helicopter in the world."
"The Chinook in general is a combat multiplier," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven A. Toumajan, commander, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (Air Assault). "The 47F brings situational awareness to the battle, and I'm proud we were chosen as the first unit to field the aircraft."
The CH-47F helicopter features a newly designed, modernized airframe, a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit and a BAE Digital Advanced Flight Control System. The advanced avionics provide improved situational awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data. Improved survivability features include Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser Systems.
Powered by two 4,868-horsepower Honeywell engines, the new CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and transport payloads weighing more than 21,000 lbs. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius greater than 400 miles.