The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has received U.S. Army authorization for full-rate production and fielding of the new CH-47F Chinook helicopter.
The CH-47F successfully completed U.S. Army operational testing at Fort Campbell, Ky., in April, and now will move forward with First Unit Fielding in July.
"This authorization enables us to support the needs of the warfighter today and well into the future," said Jack Dougherty, director of Boeing H-47 programs.
"The Army put the CH-47F to the test with over 60 hours of rigorous flight test in numerous simulated mission scenarios, including air assault, combat resupply and transport operations," said Ken Eland, Boeing CH-47F program manager. "The successful test and evaluation of the aircraft is a validation of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the H-47 program and proves again that the Chinook is ready to meet the diverse requirements of the warfighter."
Operational testing of the CH-47F was conducted by Bravo Company (Varsity), 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
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.