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Boeing Enhances Chinook with New Engines and Block II Upgrades at $96 Million

Boeing Enhances Chinook with New Engines and Block II Upgrades at $96 Million

Boeing delivered the first CH-47F Block II Chinook to support ongoing modernization efforts of the U.S. Army. The Army’s fleet will have up to 465 aircraft that will be converted to the new Block II configuration.

Up to 465 CH-47F Chinooks will be upgraded

According to Heather McBryan, vice president and programme manager for cargo programmes, “the CH-47F Block II provides capability improvements allowing the U.S. Army to lift more, fly farther, and maintain their aircraft better than ever before.”

“The battle-tested Chinook will now be able to play a significant role in multi-domain operations thanks to this modernization programme.”

The CH-47F Block II can carry practically all payloads for a greater mission radius and offers an extra 4,000 pounds of maximum gross weight because to its upgraded drivetrain, strengthened airframe, and improved fuel system. Furthermore to the capability improvements, the aircraft’s design enables future technology upgrades.

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The corporation also enhances aircraft sustainment through its Block II programme. The fuel system has been simplified to increase sustainment efficiency and decrease maintenance expenses, while the new rotor system’s increased reliability helps to minimise unscheduled maintenance.

In order to meet the demands of Special Operations Command and the Army for a heavy-lift helicopter that can withstand higher altitudes, larger loads, and hotter temperatures, Honeywell’s most recent T55-714C turboshaft engines and Boeing’s Chinook Block II improvements will make the CH-47 more powerful than ever.

Boeing upgraded the drive train, strengthened the CH-47’s fuselage, rebuilt the fuel tanks, and made other changes for the Chinook Block II that will allow the fleet to operate at greater performance levels.

Enables carrying 22,000-plus pounds of payload.

With the engine performance upgrades, the 6,000 shaft horsepower will be a 22% improvement over the present T55-714A and a four-fold increase over the original T55 engine.

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This implies that the Chinook Block II helicopter, equipped with the new Honeywell engine, will be able to carry more than 22,000 pounds of cargo, as opposed to the CH-47’s present capacity of roughly 20,000.

Moreover, a new compressor module in the T55-714C will result in 8% less fuel use and a 25% increase in overall reliability, including a 40% longer compressor life.

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Aircraft comparison

Comparsion between Turkish T929 ATAK-II and Russia Ka-52

Comparsion between Turkish T929 ATAK-II and Russia Ka-52

The Turkish T929 ATAK-II and the Russian Ka-52 are both formidable attack helicopters that have garnered significant attention in the realm of military aviation. Representing cutting-edge technology and advanced capabilities, these rotorcraft serve as vital components of their respective nation’s aerial forces.

In this comparison, we delve into the design, performance, weaponry, and operational characteristics of Both aircraft, offering insights into their strengths, limitations, and the strategic implications of their deployment. By examining these two helicopters side by side, we gain a comprehensive understanding of their role in modern warfare and the dynamics of competition and cooperation within the global defense industry.

Turkish Aerospace Industries is developing a twin-engine, heavy assault helicopter called the TAI T929 ATAK 2. The helicopter is designed for attack, electronic warfare, and reconnaissance missions in all-weather environments in both day and night conditions.The ATAK II, which made its maiden flight on April 28, 2023, is currently in development. It is projected that the Turkish Army will receive it starting in 2025.

The Ka-52, also known as the Alligator, is a cutting-edge attack helicopter designed by Russia’s Kamov Design Bureau. It is meant to excel in a variety of roles, including reconnaissance, close air support, and anti-armor combat. It also serves as an icon of Russian helicopter engineering, demonstrating outstanding skills and versatility in combat operations.

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The TAI T929 ATAK 2 and the Russian KA-52 are both attack helicopters designed for military purposes. Here’s a comparison between the two helicopters.

Armament: The T929 ATAK 2 is equipped with a 20mm chin-mounted cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, rockets, and guided munitions.while Ka-52 is equipped with a range of armament options, including anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, unguided rockets, and a 30mm automatic cannon.

Engine: The Turkish T929 ATAK-II, propelled by two TV3-117 turboshaft engines, each generating 1,864.25 kW (2,500.00 hp) of power, contrasts with the Russian Ka-52, which relies on 2 × Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines, boasting 1,800 kW (2,400 shp) each.

In terms of dimensions, ATAK 2 is slightly smaller, with a length of 13.45 meters and a height of 3.96 meters. Whereas Ka-52 measures 16.00 meters in length and 4.93 meters in height.

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Speed: In terms of speed, the ATAK 2 boasts a maximum speed of 318 km/h (198 mph, 172 kn), slightly surpassing the Ka-52’s maximum speed of about 310 knots (574 km/h).

However, the cruise speed of the ATAK 2 at 314 km/h (195 mph, 170 kn) is notably faster than the Ka-52’s 270 km/h (170 mph, 150 kn).

Additionally, the ATAK 2 has a maximum takeoff weight of 10,000 kg (22,046 lb), slightly lower than the Ka-52’s 10,800 kg (23,810 lb).

Finally, in terms of service ceiling, the ATAK 2 surpasses the Ka-52 with a service ceiling of 6,096 m (20,000 ft), compared to the Ka-52’s 5,500 m (18,000 ft).

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The T929 helicopter is equipped with tandem seats, an asymmetrical weapons bay, a large capacity for ammunition, a low IR signature, a digital cockpit, ballistic protection, better avionics, and the potential to engage in electronic warfare and countermeasure operations.

The Ka-52 is equipped with a “Phazotron” cockpit radio-locator, allowing flights in adverse meteorological conditions and at night. The necessary information acquired by this radio-locator is transferred to the cockpit’s multi-functional display screen. The Ka-52 has a self-defense package that comprises flares and chaff to deflect incoming missiles, radar and laser warning systems, and other defenses. 

The initiation of the T929 ATAK II’s development gained significant momentum in 2019, driven by the vision of providing Turkey with its own helicopter tailored for the national army. Beyond serving domestic needs, the helicopter has now emerged as a potential export asset. This newfound global appeal is particularly noteworthy as the T929 ATAK II competes with high-cost American rotorcraft, positioning itself as a competitive and cost-effective alternative in the international market.

KA-52 helicopter is the only one in the world having a certain technologically advanced feature that is not offered by any other helicopter. A pilot ejection device is also equipped with this helicopter in case of an emergency landing or collision. The seats are equipped with rocket-assisted ejection systems, and each crew member has a separate ejection mechanism.

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