Boeing to upgrade Spanish Army’s Chinook helicopter fleet

4 January 2019 (Last Updated January 21st, 2020 05:48)

Boeing has been awarded a contract to modernise the Spanish Army’s entire fleet of CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

Boeing to upgrade Spanish Army’s Chinook helicopter fleet
Spain is one of 12 nations that have ordered the most current Chinook configuration. Credit: Boeing.

Boeing has been awarded a contract to modernise the Spanish Army’s entire fleet of CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

Under the contract, the company will remanufacture 17 CH-47D Chinooks to the CH-47F model configuration.

Boeing Cargo and Utility Helicopters vice-president and H-47 programme manager Chuck Dabundo said: “The Chinook is a versatile aircraft flown by eight Nato nations, including Spain.

“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.”

The upgrade will also involve the addition of features such as the digital automatic flight control system, common avionics architecture system and advanced cargo handling.

These additional enhancements will allow Spain’s Chinook helicopters to align with those of other nations.

“Boeing noted that this Spanish order has been placed through the aforementioned contract and is said to be the first order from a non-US customer.”

According to the company, the deliveries of the helicopters to Spain will commence in 2021.

In July 2018, Boeing and the US Army signed a contract for the delivery of six new F-model Chinooks. The contract also includes options for up to 150 more Chinooks for US and foreign customers.

Boeing noted that this Spanish order has been placed through the aforementioned contract and is said to be the first order from a non-US customer.

Currently, 12 nations have ordered the latest Chinook configuration and the helicopter is being operated or under contract with 19 international defence forces.

A total of more than 460 CH-47F Chinooks have been produced by Boeing to date.

Mostly used by the US Army and Special Operations Forces, the CH-47F twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter is capable of carrying payloads of over 21,000lb. The aircraft can reach maximum speeds of 175mph.

The company is also developing CH-47F Block II, which will feature a new rotor blade, a redesigned fuel system, enhanced drivetrain and improved structural fuselage.