Boeing Defense, Space & Security was contracted by Spain’s defense ministry to upgrade the Spanish Army’s fleet of 17 CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the F-model configuration, adding features like a digital automatic flight control system, a common avionics architecture, and advanced cargo handling that will align with other nations’ capabilities.
Boeing did not state the value of the order.
The CH-47F is a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter used by the U.S. Army and Special Operations Forces, and by defense forces of 19 other nations. Flight speeds exceed 175 mph and the current payloads top 21,000 lbs. In 2017,
More than 900 H-47 Chinook helicopters are in operation worldwide.
In 2017, the U.S. Army issued a $276-million contract to Boeing Defense to develop a new-design Chinook, with greater helicopter’s lifting power. The updates include a new rotor blade, redesigned fuel system, improved drivetrain, and fuselage structural improvements.
In July 2018, Boeing and the U.S. Army agreed to a contract covering six new CH-47F helicopters, plus options for 150 more Chinooks, for U.S. and international customers.
The Spanish order is the first from an international customer to be inititiated under that contract. Deliveries will begin to the Spanish defense forces in 2021.
“The Chinook is a versatile aircraft flown by eight NATO nations, including Spain,” stated Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president for 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.”