May 2006 
Volume 05, Issue 1 
Integrated Defense Systems

Perfect balance

Boeing's CSAR-X entry mixes latest technology with strong foundation


HH-47 tandem rotor helicopterAn advanced aircraft built on a history of success puts Boeing in strong position for the U.S. Air Force Combat Search And Rescue aircraft competition. The company's entry for the program is the HH-47 tandem rotor helicopter. The CSAR contract, valued at more than $12 billion, would entail building 141 aircraft and provide more than 300 jobs at the Boeing site in Ridley Park, Pa.

This platform builds on the achievements of the CH-47 Chinook, with its history of combat service and performing search, rescue and humanitarian missions around the world. It's in active production and provides a low-risk choice for the U.S. Air Force.

In support of its bid for the program, in November the platform successfully completed a series of demonstration flights at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. These flights showed the capability of the aircraft to retrieve downed pilots, rescue injured aircrew members and conduct other CSAR missions.

Ready to go

Here are some features of the HH-47 helicopter, the Boeing entry in the U.S. Air Force Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) aircraft competition.

• The affordable, low risk, highly capable platform has a proven operational and logistics track record that's compliant with key performance parameters; it incorporates the advanced functionality necessary to perform demanding CSAR missions.

• The multimission-capable platform has had significant combat experience in high altitude terrain, in austere environments and in limited visibility.

• The Air Force CSAR version will be a new-build aircraft that meets all Block 0 requirements and requires minimal upgrades to meet Block 10 requirements.

• Key features include a net-ready cockpit, forward-looking infrared radar, terrain-following/terrain-avoidance radar and in-flight refueling capability.

• Improved power and avionics complement vibration reduction and transportability enhancements.

• Improved digital maps, mission planning and management capability enable flight crews to conduct missions with pinpoint accuracy, greater crew situational awareness.

• The platform is in use by countries worldwide, including the defense forces of The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Egypt, Singapore, Japan, Australia and many more.

The demonstration aircraft performed "extremely well," said Van Horn, HH-47 capture team leader. He noted the helicopter design already meets the Air Force's initial requirements and leverages significant past development efforts on the Chinook. In addition, Horn said, the Boeing assembly line has the capacity to deliver to the Air Force ahead of the program's schedule.

Built on a new airframe, the HH-47 rescue aircraft is similar to the U.S. Special Operations MH-47G helicopter but will be equipped with an advanced Air Force–compatible electronic warfare suite, including countermeasures and survivability enhancements. With proven long-range performance, this CSAR helicopter is multimission capable. The Chinook has significant combat experience at high altitudes and in all weather conditions (see box at right).

In 2005, the CH-47 demonstrated its capabilities by supporting Hurricane Katrina and Rita recovery efforts on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and earthquake rescue, recovery, and medical evacuation and transport operations in Pakistan. With the enhancements of the HH-47, it is ready to continue supporting the customer's CSAR needs for decades to come.

Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.