Category Archives: Air Force

Modular Handgun

The Air Force Security Forces Center, in partnership with the Air Force Small Arms Program Office, has begun fielding the new M18 Modular Handgun System to Security Forces units as part of the Reconstitute Defender Initiative and its effort to modernize weapon systems and increase warfighter lethality.

The Air Force Security Forces Center, in partnership with the Air Force Small Arms Program Office, has begun fielding the new M18 Modular Handgun System to Security Forces units (U.S. Air Force photo by Vicki Stein/Released)
The Air Force Security Forces Center, in partnership with the Air Force Small Arms Program Office, has begun fielding the new M18 Modular Handgun System to Security Forces units (U.S. Air Force photo by Vicki Stein/Released)

The M18 replaces the M9, which has been in use for more than 30 years. This new weapons system is also projected to replace the M11 used by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the M15 used for Military Working Dog training.

The modular design of the M18 provides improved ergonomics, target acquisition, reliability, and durability to increase shooter lethality.

A key benefit of the M18 is that it can be customized to individual shooters with small, medium or large handgrips.

«This is going to help shooters with smaller hands. It also has a much smoother trigger pull, leading to a more accurate, lethal shooter», said Staff Sergeant Richard Maner, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Armory at the 37th Training Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland, who had an opportunity to test the weapon. «The M18 is a smaller platform weapon, but it gives the shooter more capabilities over the bulkier, larger M9 pistol».

«The M18 is a leap forward in the right direction for modernizing such a critical piece of personal defense and feels great in the hand. It reinforces the muscle memory instilled through consistent shooting», said Master Sergeant Casey Ouellette, 341st Military Working Dog Flight Chief JBSA-Lackland. «It’s more accurate and, with a great set of night sights and with their high profile, follow-up shots have become easier than ever before».

So far, more than 2,000 M18s have been delivered to Joint Base Andrews, the Air Force Gunsmith Shop, Air Education and Training Command Combat Arms Apprentice Course at JBSA-Lackland, two Regional Training Centers (Guam and Fort Bliss), Malmstrom AFB and F.E. Warren Air Force Base (AFB). All Security Forces units are expected to have their full authorization of M18s by 2020 with the remainder of the Air Force to follow.

«Once all Security Forces units have been supplied the new weapon, we will supply special warfare Airmen, Guardian Angel/Office of Special Projects (PJ) communities, Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and other high-level users», said Master Sergeant Shaun Ferguson, Air Force Security Forces Center (AFSFC) Small Arms and Light Weapons Requirements Program Manager. «Aircrew communities and other installation personnel will be issued the handgun as well based on requirements».

New Generation Fighter

France and Germany have awarded the first-ever contract – a Joint Concept Study (JCS) – to Dassault Aviation and Airbus for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme. The launch of the JCS was announced by the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and her German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen, at a meeting today in Paris.

Airbus and Dassault Aviation sign Joint Concept Study contract for Future Combat Air System
Airbus and Dassault Aviation sign Joint Concept Study contract for Future Combat Air System

The decision by both countries represents a milestone to secure European sovereignty and technological leadership in the military aviation sector for the coming decades. Starting date for the two-year study is 20 February 2019.

Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: «This new step is the cornerstone to ensure tomorrow’s European strategic autonomy. We, as Dassault Aviation, will mobilize our competencies as System Architect and Integrator, to meet the requirements of the Nations and to keep our continent as a world-class leader in the crucial field of Air Combat Systems».

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said: «FCAS is one of the most ambitious European defence programmes of the century. With today’s contract signature, we are finally setting this high-technology programme fully in motion. Both companies are committed to providing the best solutions to our Nations with regard to the New Generation Fighter as well as the systems of systems accompanying it. We are truly excited about having been given this opportunity and appreciate the trust placed in both our companies».

This planned Next Generation Weapons System will consist of a highly capable manned «New Generation Fighter» (NGF) teaming with a set of new and upgraded weapons as well as a set of unmanned systems (Remote Carriers) linked by a Combat Cloud and its Ecosystem embedded in a System-of-Systems FCAS architecture.

The JCS is based on the bi-nationally agreed High Level Common Operational Requirements Document (HLCORD) signed at Berlin Air Show ILA in April 2018 between the Defence Ministers of France and Germany as well as respective national concept studies.

Its aim is to conceptualise the different FCAS capabilities and to pave the way for future design, industrialisation, as well as an estimated full operational capability by 2040. The study will prepare and initiate demonstrator programmes for launch at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.

First Two KC-46A

The first two Boeing KC-46 Pegasus aircraft departed Everett’s Paine Field this morning for McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), where the 22nd Air Refueling Wing (22 ARW) will be the first unit to have the world’s newest air refueling tankers.

The first two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers departs Everett, Washington for McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. These aircraft, the first delivered by the program, will join the U.S. Air Force 22nd Air Refueling Wing (Boeing photo)
The first two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers departs Everett, Washington for McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. These aircraft, the first delivered by the program, will join the U.S. Air Force 22nd Air Refueling Wing (Boeing photo)

McConnell, in Wichita, Kansas, will receive two more tankers in the weeks ahead. Then Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base will receive four planes to support aircrew training.

The Air Force will soon begin evaluating the Boeing KC-46’s systems in operationally realistic scenarios, which is required before the aircraft can be used in combat. It will also continue validating the Boeing KC-46’s refueling capabilities, with aircraft including the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit bomber, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy cargo plane, and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter. Prior testing involved the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, and McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighters, among others.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs./275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs./188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs./140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs./96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs./94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs./29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment

 

Bell helicopters

Bell announced that PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), has signed a purchase agreement with the Indonesian Army for nine Bell 412EPI helicopters.

Indonesian Army selects nine Bell 412EPI helicopters to fleet
Indonesian Army selects nine Bell 412EPI helicopters to fleet

Under the contract, Bell will deliver the nine helicopters to PTDI, who will then perform customization work before final delivery to the Indonesian Army. In 2016, Bell and PTDI signed an expanded Industrial and Commercial Agreement which enabled the two companies to expand their support and services in Indonesia to Bell helicopter operators.

Bell has been present in Indonesia for more than 50 years with an estimated 110 aircraft currently in operation. Bell’s presence in Indonesia includes a Bell-authorized service facility, a certified maintenance facility and dedicated customer service engineers located in Jakarta.

 

Specifications

SPEEDS AT MAX GROSS WT
Velocity to Never Exceed (VNE) 140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h
Maximum Cruise 122 knots/140 mph/226 km/h
Range at Long Range Cruise Speed (VLRC) 363 NM/418 miles/672 km
Max Endurance 3.8 hrs
CAPACITIES
Standard Seating 1 + 14
Maximum Seating 1 + 14
Standard Fuel 331 US gal/1,251 litres
Auxiliary Fuel (Optional) 33 or 163 US gal/123 or 617 liters
Cabin Volume 220 feet³/6.2 m³
Aft (Baggage) Compartment Volume 28 feet³/0.8 m³
WEIGHTS
Empty Weight (IFR Standard Configuration) 7,071 lbs./3,207 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal) 11,900 lbs./5,398 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal, Optional) 12,200 lbs./5,534 kg
Useful Load (Internal, IFR Standard Configuration) 4,829 lbs./2,190 kg
Useful Load (Internal, Optional, IFR standard configuration) 5,129 lbs./2,190 kg
Cargo Hook Capacity 4,500 lbs./2,041 kg

 

Maiden flight

According to Kelvin Wong, Jane’s International Defence Review correspondent, Zhong Tian Guide Control Technology Company (ZT Guide), a Xi’an-based manufacturer of electronic and industrial equipment, announced on 20 January that it has successfully completed the maiden flight of its Fei Long-1 (Flying Dragon-1 or FL-1) Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MALE UAV).

The Fei Long-1 medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle made its public debut in November 2018 (Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong)
The Fei Long-1 medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle made its public debut in November 2018 (Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong)

The prototype FL-1 – which was first unveiled at the Airshow China 2018 exhibition in Zhuhai and called the «Large Payload Long Endurance Universal Unmanned Transportation Platform» – was launched from Pucheng Neifu Airport near Xi’an following 18 months of Research and Development (R&D) work by ZT Guide’s Zhong Tian Fei Long subsidiary, the company said in its statement.

According to official specifications the FL-1 has a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 3,200 kg/7,055 lbs. with a payload capacity of 1,400 kg/3,086.5 lbs. inclusive of fuel. Two hardpoints can be mounted under each wing, with each hardpoint capable of carrying up to 250 kg/551 lbs. of stores.

The FL-1 bears a strong physical resemblance to the 3,300 kg/7,275 lbs.-class Cai Hong-5 (Rainbow-5 or CH-5) MALE UAVs manufactured by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). It has an aerodynamically shaped fuselage that measures about 10 m/32.8 feet long and features a bulged nose section and retractable tricycle undercarriage, mid-mounted wings that are approximately 20 m/65.6 feet in span, and a V-shaped tail assembly incorporating a pair of fins and rudders.

Both air vehicles are also equipped with a ventral Electro-Optical/InfraRed (EO/IR) turret, although the FL-1 features pronounced wing root fairings, which offer some visual distinction from the CH-5.

The air vehicle is powered by a rear-mounted heavy fuel engine of an undisclosed type with a dorsal intake. This engine drives a three-bladed pusher propeller, which enables the vehicle to cruise at speeds of up to 240 km/h/149 mph/130 knots at altitudes of 16,404-19,685 feet/5,000-6,000 m and attain an operating ceiling of 26,246 feet/8,000 m.

NG helmet

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Human Systems Division working with members of the Advanced Tactical Acquisition Corps or ATAC, one of the center’s premier leadership development programs, are in the early stages of acquiring the next generation helmet for aircrews in fixed-wing aircraft with the exception of the F-35 Lightning II.

A helmet sits turned on at a booth during AFWERX Helmet Challenge at the Enclave Las Vegas, Nevada, November 14, 2018. The purpose of AFWERX Las Vegas is to solve problems for the Air Force by getting entrepreneurs and innovators to come together to brain storm ideas (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan T. Guthrie)
A helmet sits turned on at a booth during AFWERX Helmet Challenge at the Enclave Las Vegas, Nevada, November 14, 2018. The purpose of AFWERX Las Vegas is to solve problems for the Air Force by getting entrepreneurs and innovators to come together to brain storm ideas (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bryan T. Guthrie)

Recently, with recommendations from ATAC, the Human Systems Division awarded $600,000 in grants via AFWERX Vegas to three companies to develop and present prototypes for the helmet by the end of May 2019.

The team worked closely with AFWERX Vegas, an Air Force innovation hub specializing in engaging entrepreneurs and private sector vendors, to identify the pool of companies that could potentially develop the new helmet faster, more efficiently and with cutting edge technology.

Replacing legacy helmets on fixed-wing aircraft has become a priority in part because over time new requirements have added sub-systems, and devices, that the helmets were not originally designed for.

«It (legacy helmet) is a 1980’s designed helmet that was not made to withstand and balance everything – technology – that we are putting on them», said 1st Lieutenant Naomi Harper, a program manager with the Human Systems Division. «If the weight is off, the center of gravity is completely off, which can cause neck issues and pain. Our goal is to find a helmet that is lighter, has more stability and is compatible fixed-winged aircraft and equipment».

Michael DeRespinis, program manager with the Human Systems Division said that working with AFWERX has been beneficial in that it has helped increase competition to replace the helmet and is facilitating the rapid delivery of prototypes.

DeRespinis also said that the division would like to select one of the prototypes and put that company on contract by September 2019 for further development activity and future production.

Because of AFWERX Vegas, a process that in the past would have taken years to complete, will now only take months, which in turn will allow the Human Systems Division to field the helmets to aircrews faster.

The ATAC team comprised of a group of competitively selected mid-level military and civilian acquisition professionals from across AFLCMC, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space and Missile Systems Center, are focused not only on supporting the Human Systems Division during this process, but also on figuring out the best way to transition technology.

«Innovation hubs like AFWERX are starting to spin up around the Air Force», said Adam Vencill, a member of ATAC and a program manager by trade. «A challenge the Air Force has is getting products on contract that comes out of these hubs. We (ATAC members) were tasked to create a business model that helps that transition process».

Nicole Barnes, ATAC contract specialist and member said that working with AFWERX, the Human Systems Division and being part of a rapid acquisition process has been rewarding. She added that the ATAC program is an example of leadership’s commitment to the workforce and to positive change.

National Security

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a critical payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) denoted NROL-71 lifted off from Space Launch Complex-6 on January 19 at 11:10 a.m. PST. The mission is in support of our country’s national defense.

United Launch Alliance successfully launches NROL-71 in support of National Security
United Launch Alliance successfully launches NROL-71 in support of National Security

«Congratulations to our team and mission partners for successfully delivering this critical asset to support national security missions», said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs, «thank you to the entire team for their perseverance, ongoing dedication and focus on 100% mission success».

The Delta IV Heavy is the nation’s proven heavy lift launch vehicle, delivering high-priority missions for the National Reconnaissance Office, U.S. Air Force and NASA. With its advanced upper stage, the Delta IV Heavy can take more than 14,000 pounds/6,350 kg directly to geosynchronous orbit, as well as a wide variety of complex interplanetary trajectories.

The mission launched aboard a Delta IV Heavy, comprised of three common booster cores each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine producing a combined total of more than 2.1 million pounds of thrust. The second stage was powered by an AR RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.

NROL-71 is ULA’s first launch in 2019 and 132nd successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

ULA’s next launch is the WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force on a Delta IV rocket. The launch is scheduled for March 13, 2019 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the world’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 130 satellites to orbit that provide Earth observation capabilities, enable global communications, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, and support life-saving technology.

Rafale F4 launched

Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, received the F4-standard development contract for the Rafale combat aircraft on January 14, 2019, during the visit of the Dassault Aviation Mérignac plant by Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces.

Rafale F4 standard launched
Rafale F4 standard launched

The F4 standard is part of the ongoing process to continuously improve the Rafale in line with technological progress and operating experience feedback. The F4 standard marks a new step coming in the wake of the standards F1 (specific to the first aircraft of the French Navy), F2 (air-to-ground and air-to-air capabilities), F3 and F3R (extended versatility).

In our role as industrial architect, we will be responsible for implementing innovative connectivity solutions to optimize the effectiveness of our aircraft in networked combat (new satellite and intra-patrol links, communication server, software defined radio).

New functions will also be developed to improve the aircraft’s capabilities (upgrades to the radar sensors and front sector optronics, helmet-mounted display capabilities), and new weapons will be integrated: Mica NG air-to-air missile and 1,000-kg/2,205-pound Armement Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM) Air-to-Ground Modular Weapon.

Lastly, with regard to availability, we are working under a through-life support contract which will become more «top-down» under the authority of the aircraft manufacturer. F4 will include a new Prognosis and Diagnostic Aid System introducing predictive maintenance capabilities. Other maintenance optimization features are scheduled, particularly with solutions based on Big Data and artificial intelligence. Lastly, the Rafale will be equipped with a new engine control unit.

«The F4 standard guarantees that Rafale will remain at world-class level so that our combat air forces can carry out all their missions with optimum efficiency, whether in coalition operations or completely independently, as required by the French nuclear deterrent», stated Eric Trappier. «This new standard also guarantees that Rafale will remain a credible reference on the export market. Lastly, it confirms the continuous improvement approach and helps develop the manufacturers’ skills».

Validation of the F4 standard is planned for 2024, with some functions becoming available as of 2022.

Dassault Aviation and the 500 French firms associated with the Rafale program thank the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Defense procurement agency (DGA), the French Air Force and the French Navy for their confidence.

 

ABOUT THE RAFALE

The only totally «omnirole» aircraft in the world, able to operate from a land base or an aircraft carrier, capable of carrying 1.5 times its weight in weapons and fuel, the Rafale has been designed to perform the full spectrum of combat aircraft missions:

  • Interception and air-to-air combat using a 30-mm gun, Mica IR/EM missiles and Meteor missiles.
  • Close air support using a 30-mm gun, GBU laser-guided bombs and AASM GPS-guided bombs.
  • Deep strike using Scalp-Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
  • Maritime strike using the Exocet AM39 Block 2 missile and other air-to-surface weapons.
  • Real-time tactical and strategic reconnaissance using the Areos pod.
  • Buddy-buddy in-flight refueling
  • Nuclear deterrence using the Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP-A) missile.

The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006, gradually replacing the seven types of previous-generation combat aircraft. It has proven itself in external operations in various theatres: Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria. Of the 180 aircraft ordered by France to date, 152 have been delivered. The Rafale fleet currently totals almost 270,000 flight hours, including 40,000 in operations. A total of 96 Rafale aircraft have been ordered by Egypt, Qatar and India.

First Pegasus

The U.S. Air Force has accepted the first Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, setting the stage for the aircraft’s delivery to McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), in Wichita, Kansas, in the coming weeks.

Nick Cenci, Major, USAF Chief of Flight Operations DCMA (Seattle) (left) and Anthony Mariapain, Major, USAF KC-46 Chief Pilot DCMA (Seattle) stand in front of the KC-46A Pegasus at Boeing Field in advance of the U.S. Air Force acceptance of Boeing’s first tanker. Major Cenci and Major Mariapain led flight acceptance testing on the jet (Boeing photo)
Nick Cenci, Major, USAF Chief of Flight Operations DCMA (Seattle) (left) and Anthony Mariapain, Major, USAF KC-46 Chief Pilot DCMA (Seattle) stand in front of the KC-46A Pegasus at Boeing Field in advance of the U.S. Air Force acceptance of Boeing’s first tanker. Major Cenci and Major Mariapain led flight acceptance testing on the jet (Boeing photo)

«The KC-46A is a proven, safe, multi-mission aircraft that will transform aerial refueling and mobility operations for decades to come. We look forward to working with the Air Force, and the Navy, during their initial operational test and evaluation of the KC-46, as we further demonstrate the operational capabilities of this next-generation aircraft across refueling, mobility and combat weapons systems missions», said Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. «I want to thank the men and women of the Air Force and across the Boeing tanker team who made this happen».

During extensive flight testing, six Boeing KC-46A Pegasus completed more than 3,800 flight hours and offloaded more than four million pounds of fuel to Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, Boeing KC-46A Pegasus, McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft. The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus has been rigorously tested throughout all aspects of the refueling envelope and in all conditions, including day, night and covert.

With the signing of what’s known as the DD250 paperwork, the delivery activities can proceed. McConnell Air Force Base will receive the first four Boeing KC-46A Pegasus aircraft, all of which are ready for delivery, with four subsequent aircraft destined for Oklahoma’s Altus Air Force Base, beginning as early as next month.

Boeing is on contract for 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the Air Force. Beyond the first aircraft that was accepted today, nine aircraft are undergoing customer acceptance testing with the remaining aircraft of the contracted amount in production.

«This is an exciting and historic day for the Air Force and Boeing, as we hand over the first of many KC-46 tankers», said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg. «I’m proud of the dedication and commitment by our enterprise-wide team, and we’re honored to provide this valuable and capable aircraft to our customer. We look forward to continuing to build and support the KC-46 for the Air Force – and other customers across the globe – for decades to come».

The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus, derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, is built in Boeing’s Everett, Washington, facility.

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor The Boeing Company
Power Plant 2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
Thrust 62,000 lbs./275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
Wingspan 157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
Length 165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
Height 52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 415,000 lbs./188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight 310,000 lbs./140,614 kg
Fuel Capacity 212,299 lbs./96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load 207,672 lbs./94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity 65,000 lbs./29,484 kg
Maximum Airspeed 360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
Service Ceiling 43,100 feet/13,137 m
Maximum Distance 7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
Pallet Positions 18 pallet positions
Air Crew 15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
Passengers 58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
Aeromedical Evacuation 58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment

 

Spanish Chinook

Boeing will upgrade all 17 of Spain’s CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the F-model configuration, adding features such as the digital automatic flight control system, common avionics architecture system and advanced cargo handling to align that country’s fleet with those of other nations.

Boeing has manufactured more than 460 CH-47F Chinooks. Spain is one of 12 nations that has ordered the most current Chinook configuration (Boeing photo)
Boeing has manufactured more than 460 CH-47F Chinooks. Spain is one of 12 nations that has ordered the most current Chinook configuration (Boeing photo)

This is the first order from a non-U.S. customer placed through a contract Boeing and the U.S. Army signed in July. That contract covers six new F-models for the U.S. and options for up to 150 more Chinooks for U.S. and international customers. Deliveries to Spain begin in 2021.

«The Chinook is a versatile aircraft flown by eight NATO nations, including Spain», said Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Cargo and Utility Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «With this contract, Spain’s Chinook crews will enjoy the platform’s current technology and capability, while the country gets an affordable upgrade that builds on its existing H-47 investment».

The CH-47F is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter. In addition to the U.S. Army and Special Operations Forces, Chinooks are currently in service or under contract with 19 international defense forces. It can fly at speeds exceeding 152 knots/175 mph/282 km/h and carry payloads greater than 21,000 lbs./9,525 kg. In 2017, Boeing and the U.S. Army announced development of CH-47F Block II, which will incorporate a new rotor blade, redesigned fuel system, improved drivetrain and structural improvements to the fuselage.