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The Chinook is an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter that
can be operated from land bases or ships into a diverse range of environments,
from the Arctic to the desert or jungle. The aircraft may be armed and is fitted with
a suite of self-defence equipment allowing it to operate across the battlespace.
Chinooks are primarily used for trooping, resupply and battlefield casualty
evacuation (casevac).

With its triple-hook external load system, internal cargo winch, roller conveyor fit
and large reserves of power, the aircraft can lift a wide variety of complex
underslung or internal freight, including vehicles. It can carry up to 55 troops or up
to approximately 10 tonnes of mixed cargo.
Secondary roles include search and rescue (SAR), and supporting a wide variety of
specialist tasks, including the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA)
commitment. A Chinook crew comprises two pilots and two crewmen,
supplemented by specialists dependent upon mission requirements.

A Royal Air Force Chinook, from RAF Odiham, inserts troops from 40 Commando Royal Marines onto a mountain peak in the Mojave Desert during Exercise Black Alligator. Exercise Black Alligator has demonstrated UK Defence interoperability between RAF Chinook Crews, Army Air Corps Apaches and Royal Marine ground troops, whilst working in demanding, austere conditions in the Californian desert. All three forces worked out of Camp Wilson, at United States Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Centre in Twenty Nine Palms. SAC Nicholas Egan is an RAF Photographer currently based at ACSSU Photo Operations, RAF Halton. After joining the RAF in 2011, he has previously served at Aldergrove Flying Station in Northern Ireland, and RAF Odiham before moving to his current post in February 2017.

In addition to its traditional warfighting roles, the Chinook’s lifting capability is
held at readiness under the MACA commitment to respond to emergencies in the
UK; in recent years these have included resupplying snowbound farmers in
Northern Ireland and moving tons of aggregate to help reconstruct flood defences
damaged by winter storms. In August 2019, a Chinook was instrumental in
securing a dam on the Toddbrook Reservoir after it became structurally unsound
following heavy rain.

Pictured is a Challenger 2 MBT and Chinook Helicopter on the Salisbury Plain Training Area. Army Reservists from the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and regular soldiers from The Royal Tank Regiment and personnel from the RAF worked together to coordinate the delivery of their new Wolf Scout Land Rovers by air with the vehicles under-slung from the giant Chinook aircraft. For many it will be the first time that they will have worked with the RAF in this way. Like all of the training they do, it is about preparing them to do it for real whilst deployed on operations in support of the Regular Army.
 A casualty is tended to onboard a MERT Chinook helicopter following an engagement with the enemy in Afghanistan. The Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) is made up of two teams based in ‘Main Operating Base Bastion’, they are responsible for extracting casualties from anywhere within Helmand Province. The MERT consists of a doctor, an emergency department nurse and two paramedics. In addition four Royal Air Force Regiment gunners provide armed protection when they land and leave the helicopter to collect the casualty

The current operational Chinook fleet comprises Mk 4, Mk 5, Mk 6 and Mk 6A
aircraft, fitted with digital glass cockpits to a common standard. The Mk 6 was
acquired as a UK-specific variant of the CH-47F and also introduced a Digital
Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS, pronounced “daffics”), greatly enhancing
handling and safety, particularly when operating in recirculating dust or snow
conditions. The Chinook HC.Mk 5 results from upgrade of the extended-range Mk
3, or “fat tank” aircraft, which carries double the fuel load of a standard Chinook. The earlier Mk 4 Chinooks are being further upgraded to Mk 6A standard with the
addition of DAFCS; the final aircraft is expected to be completed early in 2021.

Chinooks land on HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time. HMS Queen Elizabeth, the newest aircraft carrier in the Royal Navy today (Friday 2nd February 2018) embarked two chinooks. The Chinooks which will be joined by Merlin helicopters later next week will take part in various flying serials as part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sea trials. On Friday 2nd February 2018, HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from her home port in HMNB Portsmouth to continue her sea trials. On completion of her trials, she will take on US F35 B Lightning aircraft for trials later this year when she visits the United States.

The type will continue to play a key role in UK Defence activity, with the Chinook
Sustainment Programme aiming to build on the platform’s success, recapitalising
existing airframes and extending the capability out to 2040. In 2018, the US State
Department approved the possible Foreign Military Sale of 16 extended range
Chinooks to the UK, a deal which may yet see the RAF fleet expand or replace some
of its earliest airframes.

Pictured are members of the Grenadier Guards armed with SA-80’s taking part in Exercise Noble Jump 17. A US Army Chinook takes off behind them. A joint Air Assault exercise with the American 1st Battalion, 3 Aviation Regiment, 12 Combat Aviation Brigade. The troops practised joint operations and interoperability. Exercise Noble Jump 17 is a logistical challenge that tests the ability of all the participants to deliver a fighting force to wherever it is needed. All movements were controlled by NATO’s Multi-National Division South East HQ, based in Bucharest. The VJTF is kept on short notice to move and is able to deploy a powerful well-trained force within days. This year, it is being led by the UK’s 20 Armoured Brigade. Overseeing the VJTF’s training at Cincu was a combination of Joint Force Command Naples, Multi-National division South East and the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps.
US Army Loadmaster aboard a US Army Chinook helicopter during Exercise Noble Jump 17


RAF Odiham, RAF Benson


27 Squadron, 28 Squadron, 7 Squadron, Chinook Display Team Falcons

• Powerplant: two Honeywell T55-L-714A turboshaft engines, each rated at
4,168shp maximum continuous power
• Length: 98ft 10½in (30.14m)
• Height (rotors turning): 18ft 11in (5.77m)
• Rotor diameter (each): 60ft (18.29m)
• Maximum cruising speed: 160kt (296km/h)
• Maximum density altitude: 15,000ft
• Payload: up to 55 troops or around 22,000lb (10,000kg) of freight
• Armament: two 7.62mm M134 Miniguns and one 7.62mm M60D machine

Chinook display team begins training at RAF Odiham
 Parachute Regiment (4 Para) boarding a Chinook HC4 during Exercise Vortex Warrior in the USA
© Crown Copyright 2022
Special thanks to forces photographers Corporal Rob Kane

For video news from the British Armed Forces: https://www.youtube.com/britisharmedforcesdaily

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