The U.S. State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Spain of CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters an estimated cost of $1.3 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 4, 2018.
Spain has requested to buy 17 CH-47F cargo helicopters with customer-unique modifications, 21 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) AN/AAR-57A(V)8, and 42 Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) Inertial Navigation System (INS) (EGI). Also included are mission equipment, hardware and services required to implement customer-unique modifications, communication, Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE), and navigation equipment including AN/ARC-231 Multi-mode radios, AN/ARC-201D SINCGARS radios, AN/ARC-220 High Frequency (HF) Radio, Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF), AN/AAR-57A(V)8, and the Radar Signal Detecting Set (RSDS), AN/APR-39A(V)1, special tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, airframe and engine spare parts, technical data, publications, MWO/ECPs, technical assistance, transportation of aircraft and training, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The DSCA said in a statement that this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.
The proposed sale of the CH-47F aircraft will improve Spain’s heavy lift capability. Spain will use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.
The principal contractor will be Boeing Helicopter Company, Philadelphia, PA.
Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter whose primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply.
It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external ventral cargo hooks. With a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) the helicopter was faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters.
The Chinook was designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s; it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. It is one of the few aircraft of that era – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that remain in production and frontline service, with over 1,200 built to date.
The helicopter has been sold to 20 nations with the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force being its largest users.