The United Kingdom is set to complete the ongoing upgrade of its earliest Boeing Chinook heavy-lift helicopters “by early 2021”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes on 2 July.
The RAF is upgrading its 38 HC4 Chinooks to the new HC6A standard. Most of this fleet has been modernised, with the remaining nine to be completed by early 2021. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
The Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) fleet of Chinook HC4 helicopters, the earliest of which were introduced in 1981 as the HC1, is currently being converted to the HC6A standard with the fitting of Boeing’s Digital Automatic Flying Control System (DAFCS).
The MoD told Janes that 29 of the 38 HC4 helicopters have now gone through this process, with the remaining aircraft all set to follow early next year.
In addition to the 38 HC4/HC6A helicopters (before being modernised, these were/are broadly analogous to the US Army’s CH-47D-standard plus UK-specific modifications), the RAF fields eight HC5 helicopters (equivalent to the US Army’s MH-47E-standard plus UK-specific modifications) and 14 HC6 helicopters (equivalent to the US Army’s CH-47F-standard plus UK-specific modifications).