By Arie Egozi
The selection of a helicopter that will replace the Israeli Air Force (IAF) CH-53 has become urgent in order to answer the operational requirements of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Depth Command.
Boeing is offering the Chinook G helicopter, a version designed for the US special forces, to the IAF.
The IAF is expected to soon decide what is the preferred replacement for its CH-53s.
The two options are the CH-53 K and the Chinook.
According to Israeli military sources, the version offered to the IAF will be a hybrid between Chinook F and Chinook G but with larger fuel tanks, similar to the model currently flying in Canada.
The Chinook cockpit is expected to be fully computerized and will feature unique systems for the G-type.
The Boeing MH-47G is a special operations variant of the CH-47 Chinook multi-role, heavy-lift helicopter. It is in service with the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOC). The first new-build MH-47G helicopter was delivered to the USASOC in September 2014.
The MH-47G is used in heavy-lift missions such as the transportation of troops, ammunition, vehicles, equipment, fuel and supplies, as well as civil and humanitarian relief missions. The helicopter can conduct long-range missions at low level, in adverse weather conditions during the day / night.
The Chinook F is in the process of receiving a number of enhancements to its digital cockpit called the Common Avionics Architecture System, or CAAS, such improved avionics, digital displays, Line Replacement Units, navigational technology, multi-mode radios, software and emerging systems referred to as pilot-vehicle interface.
The Chinook F will also get new rotor blades engineered with composites and other materials designed to give the helicopter an additional 1,500 pounds of lift capability.
The Israeli defence forces (IDF) Ground Forces Command favors the Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook tandem-rotor helicopter as its future heavy lift helicopter to replace the aging CH-53.
In recent discussions, the ground forces command expressed support for the CH-47. The other option is the CH-53 K. The support of the IDF’s ground forces command was clearly clear in a recent press briefing. The final decision though is in the hands of the IAF.
The current fleet of Ch-53 (Yasur) is planned to remain in service until 2028.
The IAF’s CH-53 have been extensively upgraded by the force’s 22 maintenance unit.
The upgrade included full structure treatment and the installation of new avionics and other systems that relate directly to the variety of the missions the CH-53 performs in the IAF.