Boeing Chinook News from Italy



          Italy Wants New CH-47F



             May 23, 2009: Italy has joined the growing list of American allies that want CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters. The Italian army has ordered twenty CH-47Fs, for about $62 million each (this includes lots of electronics, some weapons, support and training, spare engines and other spare parts.) The 17 ton CH-47F can carry ten tons of cargo, or up to 55 troops, and has a maximum range of 426 kilometers. Its max speed is 315 kilometers an hour. Typical missions last about three hours. It is the best helicopter for use in Afghanistan, having proved itself able to deal with the dust and high altitude operations better than other transport choppers.

             The first CH-47s entered service in 1962, able to carry only five tons. Some 700 saw service in Vietnam, and over 200 were lost in action. Between 1982-94, 441 A, B and C model CH-47s were rebuilt to the CH-47D standard. For several years, Special Forces Command (SOCOM) operated MH-47Ds and Es (which have additional navigation gear). During 2003 - 2008 these were replaced wth MH-47G airframes. Eventually the U.S. Army MH-47G fleet will expand to over 60 helicopters, while the CH-47F conversion will reduce the overall fleet to around 300 airframes. As a result of all this, the CH-47 will end up serving at least 75 years. The CH-47F upgrades and new builds will not be completed until 2018. New CH-47Fs cost about $22 million each, just for the bare aircraft.

             Italy already has 40 older CH-47Cs, but only about 60 percent of these are available for service at any time.



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          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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