US STATE Department approval has been granted for a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Spain of 17 CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval on April 4 and said that it had delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on the same day.
The DSCA says the deal will include the 17 CH-47Fs with customer-unique modifications, 21 common missile warning system (CMWS) AN/AAR-57A(V)8 and 42 embedded global positioning system (GPS) inertial navigation system (INS) (EGI). Also included are mission equipment, hardware and services required to implement customer-unique modifications, communication, aircraft survivability equipment (ASE), plus navigation equipment including AN/ARC-231 multi-mode radios, AN/ARC-201D SINCGARS radios, AN/ARC-220 High Frequency (HF) radio, Identification, Friend or Foe (IFF), AN/AAR-57A(V)8 and the Radar Signal Detecting Set (RSDS), AN/APR-39A(V)1, ground support equipment, spares and training.
Spain’s Fuerzas Aeromóvile del Ejército de Tierra (FAMET – Spanish Army Aviation) has been seeking to upgrade its existing fleet of 17 older CH-47D Chinooks to CH-47F standard for some time but has not previously been able to fund the requirement. However, the country’s new 15-year defence plan, which was completed on March 12 this year, list modernisation of the CH-47Ds as one of seven priority programmes that are now expected to be funded, subject to Ministry approval.