Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has placed an order from Boeing to deliver 14 Chinook helicopters worth $580 million. In so doing, RAF is exercising an option in an existing contract.
The U.S Special Operations Command is the contracting agency for this Foreign Military Sales deal.
The latest Block II standard new Chinook helicopters are to be delivered by July 2026. This will make UK the first overseas customer for the variant.
Reports by AINonline state that, Block II builds on the existing CH-47F aircraft with a series of improvements that enhance range, load-carrying ability, and electrical capacity for onboard equipment.
The notable differences of Block II include;
- The fitment of the Advanced Chinook Rotor Blade (ACRB), feature a symmetric airfoil and advanced tip geometry to increase lifting ability.
- The Honeywell T55-715 engines provide around 20 percent more power.
- The Internal changes in the fuel sponsons either side of the fuselage increase capacity by reducing the number of cells from three to one.
- The nose is more pointed to provide additional volume for sensor and other systems.
- A new drive system is installed, and an active parallel actuator system is fitted to enhance the Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS) by ensuring a precise division of torque between the two rotors.
Boeing Vice president & H-47 program manager Andy Builta said, “These Chinooks are the future of heavy lift, built on an existing foundation of advanced capability and life cycle affordability”.
This contract for Block II aircraft sets the stage for the next 60 years of Chinook excellence on the battlefield according to Andy.