Greece will acquire 5 more CH-47D heavy helicopters from USA

CH-47D Chinook

CH-47D in Greek Service. One of the most renowned military Helicopter in Greece’s Inventory

Based on the recent announcement from DSCA (28 April 2017), Greece and specifically Greek Army Aviation will acquire 5 more used CH-47D helicopters from the Surplus of US Inventory. This is a follow-on contract to a  previous one (December 11 2014) which was covering the delivery of 10 helicopters of the same type. Currently there are ongoing deliveries for the 10 CH-47 D of the previous contract. Greek Army Aviation, being an operator for 30 years praised the reliability and operational capabilities of the Chinook helicopters.

The following abstract is from the announcement of DSCA:

WASHINGTON, Apr. 28, 2017 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Greece for CH-47D helicopters. The estimated cost is $80 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 27, 2017.

The Government of Greece requested the possible sale of five (5) CH-47D helicopters, seven (7) Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (one (1) for each aircraft plus two (2) spares), and twelve (12) T55-GA-714A turbine engines (two (2) for each aircraft plus two (2) spares). Also included are mission equipment, communications and navigation equipment, ground support equipment, special tools and test equipment, spares, publications, Maintenance Work Order/Engineering Change Proposals (MWO/ECPs), technical support, and training, and other associated support equipment and services. The total estimated cost is $80 million.

Editor’s Note: Greek Army Aviation is currently operating 15 CH-47D/SD (Super D version has extended range with bigger tanks and fuel). With the addition of 10+5 Helicopters of the same type, Greece will have one of the biggest heavy lifting Helicopter Fleet in the East-Med region. Thus, the army will take the edge in quick response missions and especially supporting the ASDEN (Supreme Aegean Command). Greek Aegean islands have already been fortified with adequate ground defense forces to repel any possible Turkish invasion. But the threat of  isolating an island (like Samos, Rhode ) and initiating a full amphibious assault that may breach the island’s defenses alerted the Greek General Army of Staff.

Along with the resuming of the deliveries of 20 NH-90 helicopters and the start of the deliveries of 70 OH-58D Kiowa Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, Greek High Command will have the option for both defensive and counter-offensive air-land transports to the Aegean Islands.

The decision for the procurement of 5 more was based on the below facts:

  • Greece already operates a fleet of 15 CH-47 Chinook Helicopters. The addition of more helicopters in Army’s Aviation inventory will lower operational costs per unit and better utilize current ground support investment.
  • Through the same FMS order, Greece will procure more ground support and mission related equipment for the Chinook Fleet
  • US-Euro currency is in favor of Greece, thus the 80 million $ are equal to 72 million EURO approximately. Having in mind that annual amount for defense procurement is between 300-500 million Euros, the payment of 72 million during a 5 or ten year period is totally feasible
  • No need for training and developing a new doctrine tailored to the new helicopter’s capabilities
  • With the acquisition of 5 more Heavy lifting hellis (total 30), Greece’s transport heavy lifting capabilities raised to 1320 personnel or 365,1 tons of equipment with a single mission. Keep in mind that Chinook can transport a useful load of 12.170 kg, approximately same load as an C-27J transport plane
  • Greece is a user of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter since 1982. Initial 9 helicopter were of the C version. They were later modernized during the mid of 90s to the more capable D versions with T55-L-714 engines. Probably the big amount of the latest combined 15-number acquisition have been done to cover possible future retirements of the initial fleet which operates almost 40 years (!).
  • Greek Chinooks in case of emergency are used during the Summer during the Summer in firefighting roles. This shortens their life of expectancy and may lead to a bigger need for maintenance both regarding time and cost.
  • 2+3 (from previous order) spare Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) might be installed on 5 initial CH-47 DG
  • Latest 10+5 used American Helicopters are fully equipped with the AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System. This fact will strengthen the survivability of the crew and the high-value troops it carries.

With the ending of those deliveries the Greek Aviation’s Army Helicopter main fleet will consists of the following:


Role Payload Combat Radius Number in service
AH-64 DHA Longbow Attack Helicopter Longbow radar and 8xAGM 114 Hellfire+38 Hydra rockets or

16xAGM 114 Hellfire

460 km 9
AH-64 A Attack Helicopter 8xAGM 114 Hellfire+38 Hydra rockets 460 km 19
OH-58D Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter MMS EO/IR sensor and

2x pylons ,

Each can carry:

1x 12.7 mm machine gun

7x Hydra rockets

2x AGM 114 Hellfire missiles

2x FIM- 92 Stinger

185 km 45 (of a total 70, rest will be salvaged for spare), expected
CH-47 D/SD Heavy Transport 44 fully armed soldiers 1000+ km 30 (ongoing deliveries)
NH-90 Medium Transport 20 fully armed soldiers 400+km 20
UH-1H Huety Light transport 11 fully armed soldiers, due to age fatigue actual capacity is lower 250 km 60
AB-206 Command 4x armed soldiers 300 km 14

12 thoughts on “Greece will acquire 5 more CH-47D heavy helicopters from USA

  1. Από τα 70 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior που αναμένεται να αφιχθούν,μόνο τα 45 θα καταστούν επιχειρησιακά σύμφωνα με το δημοσίευμα.Άλλες πληροφορίες πάντως μιλάνε για αξιοποίηση 48 ελικοπτέρων στα έξι κύρια νησιά σε λόχους των 8 ελικοπτέρων,με τα υπόλοιπα να κατευθύνονται στην Σχολή Αεροπορίας Στρατού,ενώ μικρός αριθμος ενδέχεται να δωθεί προς εκμετάλλευση από την ΑΣ προς όφελος των Ειδικών Δυνάμεων..

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  2. Dear KonTim
    As for the OH-58D Kiowa
    You are right that there are some thoughts about creating 6 companies of 8 helicopters stationed each in one major island in the Aegean Sea.
    Lets wait for the helicopters to arrive and we will see about the doctrine to be used
    There are also some thoughts of basing a few of them in Samothraki in Northern Aegean.
    If more spare parts become available, goal is to reach 55-60 helicopters operational
    Of course more info will be released soon

    PS. Because the article is in English, please try to comment in English. This will help international viewers also participating in the discussion

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  3. Aha, I see that the fashion of writing in English has resurfaced here, too (yes, I do remember the article proposing UAVS as jammers). I will repeat the same thing I pointed out back then: I do not feel comfortable discussing national security issues in English :).

    In any case,
    a)I do not see the point of sending tall the Kiowas in the Aegean Sea. A significant amount should stay for our northern borders.
    b)I can imagine more…creative ways to spend 80 millions euros, even inside the army.

    Have fun,

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  4. Dear PK
    The reason behind the english written articles is to give something back to the international viewers of this site. Especially after the latest article about Papanikolis sub, there is a stong demand for such articles

    We are not releasing any classified information so dont worry about discussing security issues in English

    After all some MIT operatives speak fluent Greek 😉

    The suggestions of the article about UAV Jammers gladly are included in the operational requirements of HAF. But when the program will start or if it will be publicly revealed is another issue

    80 more million dollars and not EURO (which are approx 72) will be spent. Still we avoided GREXIT and our national currency gives us an edge. Of course we could use this amount for other urgent matters but keep in mind that this was a very good offer. In a few years initial CH-47D (those delivered in 1982) will have to go. Estimation is around 2022-25. Each new helicopter then would cost around 50 million Euros (!). Pre-emptively sweeping US inventory will earn us money

    -The point of sending the Kiowas in the Aegean Sea is to give light fire support against elite light infantry (Bordo Berelli).
    -Also they can be used as a light escort for our air-transportable reinforement troops
    -I dont expect them to be stationed in forward bases in Rhode Island or Samos but rather in Skyros, Samothraki and Mykonos

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  5. Still, I am not persuaded to use all the Kiowas against light light infantry; I would prefer to use them in collaboration with Leo 1 or LEO 2, so as to reinforce the offensive capabilities of our armoured division.Btw, airlifts during the war in the Aegean theatre is a NO-NO case: the archipelago will be saturated with surface to air missiles or air to air missiles or land to air missiles.

    Otherwise, I still believe that our military had more urgent needs than 5 extra CH-47 and I would be more happy to see these 72 million euros to be invested in issues such as 120 mm morters or new torpedoes for our submarines. In any case, we cannot do anything but complain.

    ps. The fact that some MIT agents speak fluent Greek does not mean we should make their life easier.

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  6. I agree with you in the Part of supporing our armored divisions in Thrace. Regardless, the big number of the aqcuired Kiowas gives us more options about the doctrine they would be used
    There is a possible scenario which Greek Forces gaining the Air Superiotity in the Aegean but the naval and ground enemy assets aren;t eradicated. In that case, air trasports are feasible.
    Till then maybe half an island have been occupied or couple of smaller ones
    Also Kiowas and every helicopter that is flying low low is not an easy target for aggressor F-16s
    I agree that there are much bigger priorities than the 5 more Chinooks and the 45 million worth Kiowas
    But it is not me or possible you 😉 who takes the decision
    The biggest waste of money is the P-3B modernization program that we have discussed in the past

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  7. Giving air-mobility a priority,seems a shot in the wrong direction to me,but the Kiowas are a different matter,as they are ment to supplement the armored/mechanized formations of the Hellenic Army.
    Wether wright or wrong,Army Aviation behold Kiowas as a AH-64 substitute,and Chinooks as the main workhorse.
    That beeing said,there is a rational behind that…
    The AH-64 future in the A.A is obscure,procurement of additional AH-64´s of updeted versions is rather improbable,so we look after substitutes…
    As if all the financial restrain wasn´t enough,the A.A has suffered a major peronell bleed in the recent years,as consequence of the innumerable state-steered hits against the Nation´s defence capabilities.
    In conjuction with the procurement of the highly troublesome NH-90 medium class helicopter,and it´s even more troublesome acquisition,the A.A sees itself in need of more transport capacities,but not with the NH-90,or an equivalent type in the medium class,actually the equivalent type would be rather a burden than relief for the moment,as it would demand new infrastuctures.
    So,what choices are left?
    An already existing type,a trusted one,reasonably priced,and available.(and you can call me Chinook)

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  8. Defencegreece, you answered that «In a few years initial CH-47 (those delivered in 1982) will have to go. Estimation is around 2022-25».
    This is not right: the greek CH-47DG’s, delivered in 1982 to HAF and Hellenic Army , are initially CH-47C models, upgraded to «DG» models within ’90s. But actually the same happened with the now delivered used CH-47D’s from USArmy/NG, as they were choosen because they were also initially CH-47C’s upgraded to «D» models within same period! As it is known, almost all the original «D» built models of USArmy are now upgraded to «F» models. Consider this, and the fact that the greek -DG chinooks generally have less flight hours from the american used ones now under delivery and never enter a real war , I think that they will not withdrow in only 5 years («around 2022-25»), as this should also happen to the now delivered -D’s!

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  9. Hi manolis
    Age fatigue is inevitable
    Modernization program doesnt make a used heli to a state like a new one it just improves it
    Even if A.A extends a little their life service that doesnt mean that a heli entering its fifth decade will be the same operational as before
    Unless we compromise like with the UH-1H helis which transport a lot less than 11 fully armed men

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  10. Manolis old friend,i never said that «a chinook performing an UH-1H mission, cannot be a really reasonably priced option.»
    I said that A.A aren´t looking for more medium class helicopters to increase their transport capacities,because they are not counting with more NH-90´s in the foreseeable future,and they not confident that they can absorbe a new,additional type,since they lack resources.
    At the same time,the introduction of the Kiowas is already a major challenge.
    And the Hueys,they shall simply keep flying- «somehow».

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