The US Army’s 6th Battalion 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, has begun flying Boeing‘s CH-47F Chinook helicopter following completion of required training.

US Army 101st Combat Aviation Brigade 6th Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Brad Ninness said the technological advantages and improvements in the CH-47F increase their capabilities and allow them to better support the soldier on the ground.

Four Chinooks have been deployed in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

CH-47F features a newly designed, modernised airframe, a ROCKWELL COLLINS common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit and a BAE digital advanced flight control system (DAFCS).

The CAAS significantly improves aircrew situational awareness, while the DAFCS provides improved flight-control capabilities through the entire flight envelope, enhanced performance and safety in extreme climate conditions.

In addition, CAAS also incorporates an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data as well as common missile warning and improved countermeasure dispenser systems.

The new CH-47F powered by two 4,733hp Honeywell engines, can fly at an airspeed exceeding 175mph with a payload capacity of 21,000lb.

The aircraft with its Robertson Aviation extended-range fuel system has an operational range of 400nm.