Boeing CH–47 Chinook

Product Type:

Heavy-Lift Transport Helicopter

Using Service (US):


Program Status:

CH-47F in Full Rate Production (FRP)

Prime Contractor:

The Boeing Company

The CH-47 Chinook

About the CH-47 and MH-47:

The Boeing CH-47/MH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor, twin engine, heavy-lift helicopter designed to transport artillery, troops, ammunition, fuel and supplies within military theaters of operation. The legacy of the Chinook began in 1958 and continues today with the CH-47F and MH-47G configurations. According to Boeing, since the introduction of the CH-47, 1,179 aircraft have been built. The new CH-47F is powered by two Honeywell T55-GA-714A turboshaft engines with FADEC. The engines are rated at 4,733 shp (each). The CH-47 is built and assembled at Boeing's production facility in Ridley Park, PA.

The Chinook is the most reliable and efficient transport helicopter in the world, capable of handling loads of up to 25,000 pounds. The tandem rotor configuration provides exceptional handling qualities enabling the CH-47 to operate in climatic, altitude, and crosswind conditions that keep most other helicopters from flying.

The CH-47F Chinook has a triple hook system, which provides stability to large external loads or the capacity for multiple external loads. Large external loads such as 155mm howitzers can be transported at speeds of up to 162 mph using the triple hook load configuration. Multiple external loads can be delivered to two or three separate destinations in one sortie. CH-47F units have accumulated more than 86,000 combat hours in Afghanistan and maintained an operational readiness rate of over 80%.

New features on the CH-47F (as compared to earlier models) include the digital Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) from Rockwell Collins + modifications to the airframe to reduce vibration. The upgraded CAAS cockpit comes with MFD-268C3 multi-function display units, CDU-7000 control display units, PSM-8600 processor switch modules, and VPM-8600 video processor modules. CAAS also includes a digital data bus that permits installation of enhanced communications and navigation equipment for improved situational awareness, mission performance, and survivability. The CAAS interfaces with the BAE Systems Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS). The new aircraft uses more powerful Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines that improve fuel efficiency and enhance lift performance. Also, the CH-47F features the AN/ARC-231 Airborne Communication System from Raytheon, which includes two UHF/VHF AM/FM radios. Older Chinooks were equipped with AN/ARC-164 (UHF-AM) and AN/ARC-186 (VHF-AM/FM) radios. The CH-47F is also equipped with two AN/ARC-201 SINCGARS radios, one AN/ARC-220 high frequency radio, and one L-Band BFT transceiver. Other CH-47F equipment includes the AN/APX-123(V) Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder.

The first fully equipped U.S. Army Chinook, the CH-47A, entered service in August 1962 with a gross weight of 33,000 lbs (50,000 pounds for the CH-47F). Boeing introduced the CH-47B in 1966 with an improved airframe and new T55-L-7C engines and a gross weight of 40,000 pounds. The CH-47C was developed in 1967 with T55-L-11 engines and a gross weight capability of 44,000 pounds. The CH-47D was developed in May 1979 with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) achieved in February 1984. The CH-47D has a gross weight capability of 50,000 pounds and is powered by T55-L-712 engines.

The MH-47 is a special forces variant of the CH-47. It is used by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), the largest of the service components that make up U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The MH-47 provides an in-flight refueling capability, a fast-rope rappelling system as well as other upgrades. The MH-47G is currently being delivered to the Army. It features more advanced avionics than the MH-53E, including the digital Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), which is also featured on the CH-47F. The CAAS is a common glass cockpit used by helicopters such as the MH-60L/M U.S. Army special forces rotorcraft, and the CH-53E/K Super Stallion. The MH-47G incorporates all of the new features on the CH-47F. Apart from the CAAS, the avionics package on the MH-47G includes a multi-mode radar; the Raytheon AN/AAQ-16B or AN/AAQ-27A forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system installed in the nose of the helicopter; digital moving map display; dual MIL-STD-1553 digital databuses; AN/ASN-145 AHRS; AN/ASN-137 inertial doppler navigational set; Rockwell Collins CP1516-ASQ automatic target hand-off system; Rockwell Collins AN/ASN-149(V)2 GPS receiver; Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-149(V) low-frequency automatic direction finder; BAE Systems AN/ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser System; Goodrich AN/AVR-2A Laser Warning System; Northrop Grumman AN/APR-39B(V)2 Radar Warning Receiver; ATK AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System; Exelis AN/ALQ-136(V)2 radar pulse jammer; Exelis AN/ALQ-211(V)7 countermeasures set; Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-162(V) countermeasures set; and chaff/flare dispensers.

The CH-47/MH-47 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) modernization program is in full rate production and will ensure that aircraft are sustained at least through 2030. According to Boeing, it is not unlikely that Chinook helicopters will be Army aviation assets for a century or more. The CH-47F is expected to remain the Army's heavy lift helicopter until at least the 2038 timeframe. The modernization program calls for 550 Chinooks (489 new-build and remanufactured CH-47F helicopters and 61 MH-47G remanufactured aircraft). CH-47F procurement will be complete after FY 2018. Consequently, the Army will evaluate a CH-47F depot level recapitalization program starting in FY 2023 to extend the CH-47F's service life to FY 2040 and beyond.

The Chinook program is in full rate production (FRP) and remains on schedule with 373 aircraft on contract (227 new build and 146 remanufacture). A total of 290 aircraft had been delivered as of March 21, 2013: 231 CH-47Fs (reman and new) and 59 MH-47Gs (reman). As of February 27, 2014, a total of 332 aircraft had been delivered: 273 CH-47Fs (reman and new) and 59 MH-47Gs (reman). On October 27, 2014, Boeing delivered the 300th CH-47F to the U.S. Army. FY 2013 was the last year of procurement of the SOCOM MH-47G. The first of eight new build MH-47G configured Chinook helicopters was delivered to the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command on September 29, 2014, and deliveries continue through 2015.

On June 11, 2013, Boeing was awarded a five-year contract for the production and delivery of 155 CH-47F helicopters with options for 60 additional aircraft. The contract has a total value of $4.9 billion.

According to Boeing, 18 countries around the world are operating Chinooks. More recently, Canada took delivery of its 15th and final CH-147F on June 30, 2014.


The CH-47F can be equipped with up to 3x M240 7.62mm machine guns - one on loading ramp and two at shoulder windows. The MH-47G has four gun stations with two M134 7.62mm miniguns in the front of the aircraft and two M240D 7.62mm machine guns in the rear.

Price/Unit Cost:

In FY 2016, the unit cost of a CH-47F New Build is $29.81 million (total flyaway cost). The airframe costs $21.98 million, the two T55-GA-714A engines cost $2.12 million ($1.06 million each), and the avionics package costs $1.38 million.

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the CH-47F program is $14.85 billion (estimated by the DoD) + $0.17 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $15.02 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).


The CH-47 Chinook provides a system designed to transport ground forces, supplies, ammunition, and other battle-critical cargo in support of worldwide combat and contingency operations.

FY 2015 DoD CH-47 Program:

Provides $994.9 million for the production of 32 aircraft, of which 4 will be New Build aircraft and 28 will be ReNew/Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) aircraft. FY 2015 is the third year of a 5-year multi year procurement (MYP) program.

FY 2016 DoD CH-47 Program:

Provides $1,123.9 million for the fourth year of a 5-year MYP contract (FY 2013 through FY 2017) with the procurement of 39 aircraft (12 New Build and 27 ReNew/SLEP) aircraft.

For more information, click to see the FY 2016 DoD CH-47 Budget and the FY 2016 CH-47 Modifications Budget.

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), The Boeing Company, Honeywell,
Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and Rockwell Collins.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: June 30, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Boeing's CH-47 Chinook Site: CH-47 Chinook
Engines: Honeywell T-55-GA-714A
CAAS: Rockwell Collins CAAS

YouTube: Boeing CH-47 Chinook | YouTube

Fact Sheet: Boeing CH-47D Chinook | Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: Boeing CH-47F Chinook | Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: Boeing MH-47G Chinook | Fact Sheet

Total CH-47F Program Cost:

 $15.02 billion  ($14.85B procurement + $0.17B RDT&E)

CH-47F Procurement Objective:

  550 aircraft  (548 production + 2 dev.)

Chinook U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the CH–47 Chinook in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of CH–47 Chinook Helicopters in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Fleet of U.S. Army CH-47 Chinooks
CH-47 on the ground in Iraq
MH-47G Special Forces Chinook
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the CH-47 Chinook Defense Program

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Purchases of CH-47F Helicopters (ARMY) Modification of CH-47 Helicopters (ARMY)
MH-47G Special Forces Chinook (SOCOM) RDT&E: CH-47 Product Improvement (ARMY)

Aircraft Specifications: CH–47F Chinook

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Primary Function: Transport ground forces, supplies, ammunition, and other battle-critical cargo
Prime Contractor: The Boeing Co.
Power Plant: 2x Honeywell T55-GA-714A turboshaft engines with 4,733 shp (each engine)
Rotor Diameter: 60 ft (18.29 m)
Length: Fuselage: 52 ft (15.85 m); w/rotating rotors: 99 ft (30.18 m)
Height: 18 ft 11 in (5.77 m)
Width: 12 ft 5 in (3.78 m)
Weight (Empty): 23,400 lbs (10,185 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 50,000 lbs (22,680 kg)
Payload: 25,000 lbs (10,886 kg)
Capacity: 36 (33 troops plus 3 crew members) or 24 litter patients
Fuel Capacity: 1,034 gallons (3,914 liters)
Speed: Cruise: 130 kts/150 mph (241 km/h); Max: 170 kts/196 mph (315 km/h)
Rate of Climb: 1,522 ft/min (7.73 m/s)
Service Ceiling: 20,000 ft (5,640 m)
Range: 400 nm/460 miles (741 km)
Mission Radius: 200 nm/230 miles (370 km)
Armament/Weapons: Up to 3x M240 7.62mm machine guns - one on loading ramp and two at shoulder windows
Crew: Minimum three (pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer)
Price/Unit Cost: CH-47F New Build: $29.81 million - flyaway cost (in FY 2016)
First Flight: CH-47A: September 21, 1961
Deployed: CH-47A 1962; CH-47F: 2007
Inventory: 241 (CH-47F) as of June 2013

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