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MH-47D Chinook

The MH-47D is a US Army Special Operations support variant based around the CH-47D utility helicopter. A number of MH-47Ds entered service with the elite 160th SOAR in 1985, where they remain although they have been earmarked for upgrade to MH-47G standards.

The MH-47D was designed to support Special Operations Forces (SOF) by flying covert/covert insertion, extraction and re supply operations. Improvements to the basic CH-47D airframe include a removable refueling probe, FLIR pod, multi-mode weather radar, secure voice communications gear and a glass cockpit

mh-47g chinook
A 160th SOAR MH-47D takes off from a US carrier.

The MH-47D features some specialized equipment to aid with special operations including a a Personnel Locator System (PLS) for recovering downed aircrew, a rig for fast rope insertions and extractions and a set of miniguns and machine gun mounts to lay down suppressing fire at a hot LZ.

MH-47D Specifications

Crew Pilot, Co-pilot + 3 crew chiefs/gunners
Engines 2xTextron Lycoming T55-L712 Turboshaft engines
Dimensions L - 15.87m
W (rotor diameter) - 18.82m
H - 5.59m
Weights 12,210 kg (empty)
24,494 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 259 kph
Range 1382 km
Armament 3 gun ports (port/starboard and rear) :
2 x M134 7.62mm miniguns
1 x M60/M240D 7.62mm machine gun
Avionics Multi-mode radar
Hughes AN/AAQ-16 FLIR in chin turret
Aircraft Survivability Equipment Control
BM-AlliedSignal integrated avionics with four-screen NVG compatible EFIS
dual MIL-STD-1553 digital databusses
jamming-resistant radios
Rockwell Collins CP1516-ASQ automatic target hand-off system
inertial AN/ASN-137 Doppler,
Rockwell Collins AN/ASN-149(V)2 GPS receiver
Rockwell Collins ADF-149
Perkin-Elmer AN/AVR-2 laser
E-Systems AN/APR-39A laser warning receiver
Honeywell AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems
ITT AN/ALQ-136(V) pulse jammer and
Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-162 CW jammer
Tracor M-130 chaff/flare dispensers


mh-47 pararescue
The MH-47D packs a mean punch witha 7.62mm minigun station on both sides of the fuselage and a further gun mount at the rear ramp.
MH-47 loading ramp
The MH-47D's rotors can be folded to save space when the helicopter is stowed onboard aircraft carriers.
MH-47D FEATURES
  • all-weather capability
  • in-flight refueling probe
  • radar warning receivers and chaff-launchers to protect against radar-homing threats
  • abseiling/fast-roping rig for deployment of special operations troops
  • able to land on water for launch/recovery of SEAL teams
  • personnel locator system (PLS)
  • rescue hoist with 600lb capacity
  • secure satellite communications
  • enhanced all-weather cockpit

mh-47d deploying Ranger Land Rover SOVs
US Rangers drive their Land Rover Special Operations Vehicles (SOVs) out from the rear ramp of a MH-47D from the 160th SOAR. Up to 2 Land Rovers can be transported, fixed by chains to the floor of the helicopter. The British RAFalso use their Chinook HC2s to deploy SAS Land Rovers in a fashion similar to that shown above. The MH-47-D/E/G can accomodate a single HMMMV although it cannot open its doors when inside the Chinook's cabin.
Photo courtesy US Army

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