German army to get 60 Boeing CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopters worth $8.5 Bn

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on May 11 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Germany of CH-47F Chinook helicopters, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $8.5 billion.

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German army to get 60 Boeing CH 47F Block II Chinook helicopters worth 8.5 Bn Boeing CH-47F Block II during first flight. The Block II Chinook is powered by cutting-edge technologies — including redesigned fuel tanks, a strengthened fuselage and an enhanced drivetrain (Picture source: Boeing/Fred Troilo)

The Government of Germany has requested to buy sixty (60) CH-47F Block II cargo helicopters with customer-unique modifications; one hundred forty (140) T-55-GA-714A engines (120 installed, 20 spares); seventy-two (72) AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (60 installed, 12 spares); and two hundred eighty-four (284) AN/ARC-231A Communications Security (COMSEC) radios (240 installed, 44 spares). Also included are AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets; AN/APR-39C(V)1 Radar Detecting Sets; AN/ARC-220 High Frequency (HF) radios with electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM); military Precise Positioning Service (PPS) (to include SAASM or M-Code); Digital Advanced Flight Control Systems (DAFCS); AN/APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder; AN/ARN-147 very high frequency (VHS) omnidirectional range and instrument landing system (VOR/ILS); AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation Systems (TACAN); air data computers; AN/APN-209 radar altimeter systems; AN/PYQ-10 simple key loaders; KIV-77 Mode 4/5 IFF Applique; KY-100M narrowband/wideband terminal COMSEC devices; AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Devices (NVD); IDM-401 Improved Data Modem; air-to-air refueling probes; M134 gun mounts; Infrared Suppression System (IRSS); Engine Air Particle Separator (EAPS); Ballistic Protection System (BPS) with Cockpit; cabin sides; Midas Underfloor COOLS; Extended Range Fuel System (ERFS) 800 gal and 500 gal; Forward Area Refueling Equipment (FARE); Tie Down Materiel/Helicopter Under-Slung Load Equipment (HUSLE) for internal and external loads; rotorbrake; rescue hoists; Fast Rope Insertion/Extraction System (FRIES); Electro Optical Infrared Sensors (EO/IR); crash resistant pilot and troop seats; skis; life rafts; litter straps and fittings; mission equipment (e.g., jungle penetrator; litter basket; Jacob’s ladder; Airborne Tactical Extraction Platform (AirTEP); special tools and test equipment; ground support equipment; airframe and engine spare parts; technical data; publications; Maintenance Work Orders/Engineering Change Proposals (MWO/ECPs); Repair and Return (R&R); technical assistance; airworthiness assistance; transportation of aircraft; training; flight training and maintenance trainers; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $8.5 billion.

The principal contractor will be Boeing Helicopter Company, Philadelphia, PA. Implementation of this proposed sale will require the temporary deployment of an estimated thirty (30) contractor representatives to Germany’s Main Operating Bases (MOBs) for onsite aircraft technical, maintenance, and logistics support as part of a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) program; training support; and operator and maintenance support for the Transportable Flight Proficiency Simulators (TFPS). This support will be provided for three to five years. The temporary deployment of contractor representatives will include five (5) Field Service Representatives (FSRs), four (4) from Boeing and one (1) from Rockwell Collins. This proposed sale will also require Foreign Liaison Officers be located at Redstone Arsenal and at the Boeing facility.

Building upon the successful CH-47 Chinook family, the Block II variant incorporates several key enhancements and upgrades to deliver improved performance, versatility, and mission effectiveness. The CH-47F Block II offers exceptional lift capability and maneuverability, allowing it to operate in various challenging environments, including high altitudes and hot climates.

One of the notable upgrades in the Block II version is the incorporation of advanced avionics and digital systems. These enhancements provide the crew with improved situational awareness, enhanced communication capabilities, and streamlined mission planning and execution. The helicopter's digital cockpit features modern displays, integrated mission systems, and improved automation, allowing for more precise and efficient operations.

Furthermore, the CH-47F Block II incorporates increased power and performance with its upgraded drivetrain and advanced rotor blade technology. This results in improved lift capacity, better maneuverability, and enhanced overall performance, enabling the helicopter to operate effectively in demanding conditions.

In terms of defensive capabilities, the Block II variant features enhanced survivability systems. These include advanced threat detection and countermeasures systems, such as radar warning receivers, infrared jammers, and flare dispensers, which help protect the helicopter from various threats, including surface-to-air missiles and hostile fire.

The CH-47F Block II can accommodate up to 33 fully equipped troops or a variety of cargo configuration.