The CH-47F Improved Cargo Helicopter (ICH) is a twin-blade, tandem rotor, heavy lift helicopter in use with the US Army.
A remanufactured and upgraded CH-47D, the F model features a number of upgrades and improvements over its predecessor. The US Army plans to have upgraded its entire CH-47D fleet to CH-47F standards by 2018.
Upgrades to the CH-47D include 2 T55-GA-714A Turboshaft engines rated at 4,868 horsepower each which allow the aircraft to carry more cargo at higher altitudes in hot climates.
The CH-47F also boasts a digital cockpit which integrates flight, mission, communications and navigation data onto a series of LCD displays.
The upgraded Chinook also features structural modifications that allow for faster preparation for air transport in cargo planes plus improved corrosion resistance. The helicopter's airframe has been re-designed to reduce vibration at high speeds.
For self-defense and landing-zone suppression, the CH-47F can be armed with M60D or M240D 7.62mm belt-fed machine guns on various mounts, including on at the rear.
The CH-47F is or will soon be in service with other militaries including the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the British Royal Air Force.
US Army flight engineers man a M60D 7.62mmx51mm belt-fed machine gun mounted at the rear ramp of a CH-47F
A CH-47F prototype pictured during flight testing.
Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army