The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has started taking delivery of the CH-47F Heavy Lift Helicopter to Singapore, following its initial delivery to the RSAF Helicopter Detachment in Oakey, Australia. With better lift and reach capabilities, the CH-47F helicopters will complement the RSAF’s fleet of helicopters to provide the SAF with a robust lift capability for a wide range of operations including Search and Rescue, aeromedical evacuation, troop lift, fire-fighting, and Humanitarian Assistance, and Disaster Relief operations. When operationalized, the CH-47F helicopters will progressively replace the RSAF’s older Chinooks that have been in service since 1994.
The small size of Singapore creates training challenges, the initial delivery of the CH-47F to the RSAF Helicopter Detachment in Oakey, Australia, will enable the RSAF to leverage the vast airspace and terrain for more realistic training. The RSAF has begun taking delivery of the CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters it ordered in November 2016, with the first example already being deployed at its training detachment in Australia. RSAF lists several exercises missions for CH-47F including search and rescue, aeromedical evacuation, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
On 7 November 2016, a press release by Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) was issued after a decision was made to acquire ten new build CH-47Fs to replace the six older D-models which have been in service since 1996. Concurrently, the ten CH-47SDs were to undergo a modernization process to bring them up to the same standard as the CH-47Fswhich have been in service since 1994 respectively. CH-47F possesses better lift and reach capabilities and will enable the RSAF to meet the Singapore Armed Forces’ lift requirements more efficiently with fewer helicopters and less manpower.
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting of Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Washington state. , the first CH-47F, an upgraded CH-47D, made its maiden flight; the first production model rolled out on 15 June 2006 at Boeing’s facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, and first flew on 23 October 2006. Upgrades include 4,868-shaft-horsepower (3,630 kW) Honeywell engines and the airframe featuring greater single-piece construction to lower maintenance requirements.