The US State Department has approved a possible sale of CH-47F Chinook helicopters to the Republic of Korea in a sale that would have an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.
South Korea requested to buy 18 CH-47F helicopters, as well as T55-GA-714A engines, common missile warning systems, radar warning systems, IFF transponders and other related equipment.
“The CH-47F will allow the ROK to conduct missions in support of bilateral operational plans which include, but are not limited to, medical evacuation, search and rescue, parachute drops, and disaster relief. The ROK will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” the Defense Security Coperation Agency said.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia- Pacific region.
Should South Korea buy the Boeing-built heavy-lift helicopter, it would be joining the Surion (KUH-1) transport utility helicopters that are currently being purchased by ROK armed forces from Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI).
At around 30 meters long, the CH-47 Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter and is designed to provide tactical transport capabilities for vehicles, heavy equipment and dozens of troops. The CH-47F is the latest variant of the helicopter, introducing digital automatic flight control systems, common avionics architecture systems and advanced cargo handling. The CH-47F also features an enhanced self-protection suite and satellite communication (SATCOM) system.