Boeing CH-47F Chinook Transport Helicopters
Boeing CH-47F Chinook Transport Helicopters

US State Department Clears South Korea’s $1.5 Billion CH-47F Chinook Procurement Request

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of CH-47F helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy 18 CH-47F Chinook helicopters; 42 T55-GA-714A engines (36 installed, 6 spares); 22 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (18 installed, 4 spares); and 44 secure radios, RT-1987 (36 installed, 8 spares). Also included are AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Systems; AN/ARC-220 HF Airborne Communications Systems; AN/APX-123A IFF transponders; AN/ARN-147; AN/ARN 153; AN/APN-209; secure radios; U.S. Government/contractor engineering and other related elements of logistical and program support.

South Korea is proceeding with plans to replace its fleet of ageing Boeing CH-47D Chinooks serving with the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces with a newer variant of the aircraft. Currently, South Korea operates a fleet of 30 CH-47D/DLR most of which serve with the 2nd Aviation Brigade composed of 301 and 302 Aviation Battalions at Icheon on the West Coast of South Korea, and 11 HH-47Ds operate from Cheongju as part of the 6th Search and Rescue Group, 231st Combat Search and Rescue Squadron as part of the South Korean Air Force’s CSAR commitment. The South Korean Defense Project Promotion Committee (DPPC) had originally approved a proposal to replace the CH-47Ds in the South Korean military service in January 2022.

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Boeing Chinook CH-47F Block II Transport Helicopter
Boeing Chinook CH-47F Block II Transport Helicopter

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol and manufactured by Boeing Vertol. The Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter that is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters. Its name, Chinook, is from the Native American Chinook people of Oregon and Washington state.Capable of a top speed of 170 knots (200 mph; 310 km/h), upon its introduction to service in 1962, the helicopter was considerably faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. Improved and more powerful versions of the Chinook have also been developed since its introduction; one of the most substantial variants to be produced was the CH-47D.

The recent CH-47F was developed by Boeing from the previous CH-47D. The CH-47F has new engines, upgraded airframe and new avionics. It made its first flight in 2001. Production commenced in 2006. Existing CH-47D helicopters can be upgraded to the CH-47F standard, or these can be newly produced. By 2014 a total of 300 CH-47F helicopters were delivered to the US Army and National Guard. The CH-47F transports troops, war supplies and battlefield equipment. This helicopter is also deployed in medical evacuation, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, parachute drop and other operations. The CH-47F has been exported to Canada (15), Netherlands (6), United Kngdom (24 planned). Australia ordered 7 of these helicopters. These will be delivered in the near future.

Republic of Korea Army Boeing CH-47D Chinook Helicopter
Republic of Korea Army Boeing CH-47D Chinook Helicopter

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