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
|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|