The Chinook is an able and versatile support helicopter that can be armed with crew served weapons to provide self-defence, and can be operated from land or ship in such diverse environments as the Arctic, jungle and desert.
- Engines: Two Textron Lycoming T55-L712F turboshafts
- Thrust: 3,148shp each
- Max speed: 160kts
- Length: 30.14m
- Max altitude: 15,000ft
- Span: 18.23m
- Aircrew: 4
Chinook aircraft are used for trooping, resupply, and battlefield Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), and for carrying internal and/or underslung loads. They can carry up to 55 troops (more, usually 24 to 40) and/or up to 10 tonnes of freight. A secondary role includes Search and Rescue (SAR).
In Afghanistan, the aircraft has become known for its emergency response role, in which the rear of the aircraft can essentially be used as an emergency operating theatre. The crew usually consists of two pilots and two crewmen, supplemented by other specialists depending on the specific task. The Mk3 incorporates long range fuel tanks which greatly increase range and endurance. The Mk4 sees the introduction of a new cockpit display system, mission management system and Helicopters enhanced crewman’s workstation that further increases the aircraft’s capability. (When the Mk3s are fitted with updated avionics they will be designated Mk5, just as the Mk2s will morph into Mk4s.)
The Mk6 is a new buy of 14 aircraft differing in structure to the previous marks. They will incorporate a new Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) and the updated cockpit of the Mk4 and 5. They arrived in the UK and the end of 2013.
The aircraft are well equipped for their varied roles and are fitted with a satellite Global Positioning System, an Instrument Landing System, comprehensive avionics that enable them to fly in airways, and an extensive radio suite. The aircraft cockpit has a full night-time capability when operated with night-vision goggles, thus allowing low-level night operations in a hostile environment. The aircraft also carries dual-mode landing lights that can be switched between white and infrared light, which are supported by infrared searchlights operated by the two crewmen. The Chinook is well equipped with defensive aids and has a Radar Warning Receiver, an Ultraviolet and Doppler Missile Approach Warning System, infrared jammers and chaff and flare dispensers, which can be manually or automatically fired. The aircraft can be armed with two M134 six-barrelled Miniguns, one in each front side window, and an M60D machine gun on the ramp.
Tubular fuselage with fairings along the lower edge to give a flat appearance to the underside. Front rotor blades on a fairing above the cockpit (2). Engines mounted either side and above the rear fuselage (3). Rear rotor on a rectangular 'fin' set above the front rotor blade arc. Rear loading ramp. Four-wheel undercarriage with two wheels at the rear and the second pair just beyond halfway along the fuselage (1).
Atlas is an extremely flexible aircraft that will provide both Tactical and Strategic Airlift Capability.