The largest helicopters of the Spanish Armed Forces are the CH-47 Chinook of the Airmobile Forces of the Land Army (FAMET).
These two-rotor giants are assigned to the Transport Helicopter Battalion V (BHELTRA V), which is based at the "Coronel Maté" Base, in Colmenar Viejo (Madrid). Spain purchased a total of 19 CH-47s in two batches: the first 10 were of the CH-47C variant and arrived in Spain in 1973, while the second batch was purchased in 1982, with a total of 9 CH-47D. Two of the helicopters were lost in accidents and 17 CH-47s remain operational today, currently being upgraded to the CH-47F variant.
Yesterday, the Spanish Army released an interesting video that shows the load capacity of these heavy helicopters, specifically one of the new CH-47F, the ET-423 (HT.17-23A). The images were recorded during a joint air assault exercise with the VI "Almogávares" Parachute Brigade (BRIPAC):
In the images we see the lifting process using slings of two L-118 105 mm caliber light guns. Each one has a weight of 1,858 kilograms.
The video also shows images of the lifting of a Uro VAMTAC tactical vehicle. Specifically, the one in the video looks like a VAMTAC S3 used as a platform for launching Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles.
The CH-47 is an excellent helicopter and a veteran model, but at the moment it does not have a substitute that is at its level. With its recent modernization to the Foxtrot variant, it still has a lot of useful life ahead of it.
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