ICH-47F Chinook Multi-Role Helicopter, Italy
ICH-47F Chinook is a next-generation, multi-role heavy-lift helicopter jointly developed by AgustaWestland and Boeing to replace the 40 CH-47C Chinooks in service with the Italian Army. It is a license-built version of the CH-47F helicopter manufactured by Boeing.
The first ICH-47F Chinook performed maiden flight in June 2013. The Italian MoD Procurement Agency, the General Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO) placed a $1.22bn order for 16 ICH-47F helicopters. The contract also includes options for an additional four helicopters and a five-year logistic support service. The helicopters will be operated by the Italian Army Aviation's 1st Regiment Antares based in Viterbo.
The Italian Army received two ICH-47F Chinooks from AgustaWestland in October 2014. The remaining helicopters will be delivered by 2017.
The helicopter is primarily intended to perform tactical missions such as air transportation of troops, internal / external cargo, and weapons within the combat area. It can also be deployed to carry out special support functions, disaster relief and fire fighting operations.
Italian ICH-47F programme details
AgustaWestland and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in February 2007 for the joint development of the ICH-47F helicopter for the Italian Army.
The CH-47D Chinook helicopter carries out transportation of troops, artillery, supplies and equipment to the battlefield.
AgustaWestland, the prime contractor, signed a Joint Industrial Agreement with Boeing for the production of ICH-47F helicopters for the Italian Army in July 2008. According to the agreement, AgustaWestland is responsible for the supply of entire drive systems, systems integration, final assembly, and aircraft delivery, while Boeing is responsible to develop fuselage for the Italian ICH-47F programme.
ICH-47F Chinook design and features
The ICH-47F Chinook helicopter incorporates customised design features to deliver enhanced capabilities to the Italian Army. It offers increased speed and range, and can be deployed under all weather and climatic conditions.
The helicopter has an overall length of 30.18m, overall height of 5.77m, rotor diameter of 18.29m and a wheel base of 6.86m. The fuselage is 15.87m long and 3.78m wide. The maximum take-off weight of the helicopter is 22,680kg. The forward and aft hooks can carry loads of up to 7,727kg each. The centre hook can lift loads of around 11,818kg. The helicopter is operated by a crew of three.
The helicopter houses external rescue hoist, multi-point cargo hook, forest penetrator rescue system, high intensity search light, fast rope, Integrated Survivability Equipment (DAS), power down ramp, and engine air particle separator. It also incorporates a self protection system.
ICH-47F Chinook cockpit and avionics
The digital cockpit of the ICH-47F Chinook helicopter is equipped with fully integrated Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) developed by Rockwell Collins. The cockpit features advanced avionics systems and colour displays to provide improved situational awareness.
The avionics suite includes secure communications system, advanced datalink system, weather radar, obstacle warning system, airborne search and rescue system, emergency locator transmitter, video recording, air traffic transponder, homer U/VDF, multi-mode receiver, and a new generation identification friend or foe (IFF) system. The cockpit also incorporates HF, VHF/UHF and SATCOM multi-band radios to facilitate secure communication.
An electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) FLIR imaging sensor system is also installed to provide persistent surveillance capabilities.
The ICH-47F Chinook helicopter is armed with a .50 calibre machine gun mounted on the ramp. It is also mounted with Focke-Wulf .30 calibre RH and LH machine guns.
Engines and performance of the multirole helicopter
The helicopter is powered by two Honeywell 55-L-714A engines generating a take-off power of 3,529kW each. The power-plant offers exceptional performance under hot and high conditions.
The helicopter has a maximum cruise speed of 292km/h and a maximum speed of 315km/h. The maximum range is 740km and maximum altitude is 6,100m.
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