Boeing to build four more MH-47G heavy-lift helicopters and avionics for Special Operations Command

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Combat helicopter designers at the Boeing Co. will build four new MH-47G twin-rotor heavy-lift helicopters for U.S. Special Operations warfighters under terms of a $42.8 million order announced last week.

By Intelligent Aerospace staff
By Intelligent Aerospace staff

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Combat helicopter designers at the Boeing Co. will build four new MH-47G twin-rotor heavy-lift helicopters for U.S. Special Operations warfighters under terms of a $42.8 million order announced last week.

Officials of U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Ridley Park, Pa., to provide four new-build MH-47G rotary wing aircraft in response to an urgent need to sustain U.S. Special Operations heavy-assault helicopters.

Boeing engineers are carrying out a MH-47G renew project by using new, salvaged, reworked, or recapitalized components into an upgraded airframe, Special Operations Command officials say.

This upgrade to the Special Operations MH-47G includes new composite rotor blades, an improved drive train, single sponson fuel tanks, as well as strengthened aft, pylon, and nose sections.

Related: Boeing to equip Special Operations helicopters with low-level safety and situational awareness avionics

The MH-47G heavy-lift helicopter is similar to the MH-47E, but has more sophisticated avionics including a digital common avionics architecture system (CAAS) -- a common glass cockpit used by different helicopters.

The MH-47G is an advanced heavy-lift helicopter that is operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) at Fort Campbell, Ky.

The MH-47G is the most current and sophisticated MH-47 in service. It uses two T55-GA-714A engines with infrared exhaust suppressors to reduce the helicopter's vulnerability to infrared sensors and infrared-guided missiles.

Large fuel tanks that stick out from the sides of the helicopter extend the MH-47G's range, and the aircraft has an extendable probe for mid-air refueling.

Related: Raytheon to continue building terrain-following radar for penetrating enemy air defenses

The MH-47G has a glass digital cockpit that is compatible with night-vision goggles. It has five 6-by-8-inch liquid crystal multi-function display screens and two control display units. The cockpit shares the same processing and display units as the MH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.

The cockpit also has a digital moving map display, dual MIL-STD-1553 digital databuses, AN/ASN-137 inertial Doppler navigational set, CP1516-ASQ automatic target hand-off system, AN/ASN-149(V)2 GPS receiver, and Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-149(V) low-frequency automatic direction finder.

A forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and visible-light camera are mounted in a bubble under the helicopter's chin to enable pilots to fly at low levels at night and in bad weather. The CH-47G also has the Raytheon Silent Knight multi-mode radar that enables terrain-following, terrain-avoidance, and weather detection.

For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/defense, or U.S. Special Operations Command at www.socom.mil.

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