DSEi 2011: Weatherhaven unveils Chinook-liftable container system
Weatherhaven has debuted an expandable container system designed to fit inside a Chinook transport helicopter.
The Tactical Re-deployable Expanding Container Capability (TRECC) is system of shelters that can form the key infrastructure of a forward operating base (FOB). Within minutes of arriving at a new location the TRECC can be erected to form a communications centre, kitchens, a fully equipped medical centre or ablutions.
The roof rises to eight feet, and the sides unfold to provide 23.7 sq metres (255 sq ft) of working space. Because they are modular, the TRECC can be interconnected with other Weatherhaven shelters.
As well being airlift-able in the cabin of the Chinook, the containers also fit into standard ISO containers for shipping if required. Once loaded aboard the Chinook, the TRECC takes up the same room as two pallets leaving enough room for a handful of passengers at the front of the aircraft.
Ray Castelli, CEO of Weatherhaven, told Shephard: 'The ISO container and the Chinook helicopter are the logistical workhorses for militaries all over the world, so it made sense to develop a system that would fit those platforms.'
The containers have wheels to assist with the unloading and they can also be self-sufficient with an on-board generator to provide power.
The company puts a particular emphasis on the container's transportability in the Chinooks cargo hold stating that the aircraft and its cargo is made more vulnerable when carrying containers as a underslung load.
While the aircraft's possible flight envelope is reduced when carrying underslung loads, aircrews with experience in Afghanistan have expressed a preference to carry loads to FOBs as an underslung load as this allows the aircraft to drop the load into the base and depart the area immediately.
Demonstrations of the container being loaded into a Chinook by Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) saw unloading take 10-15 minutes. A Weatherhaven representative said an experienced crew could unload the container in about 10 minutes, but a less experienced one could take longer, potentially making the aircraft more vulnerable to attack whilst sitting on the ground.
More from Defence Helicopter
Brazilian armed forces training has been given a significant boost with a new order for Airbus H125 helicopters.
Poland aims to order three times as many AH-64E attack helicopters as previously expected.
Leonardo hopes to persuade the UK MoD that a range of AW149 survivability-related items makes the helicopter the best fit for the New Medium Helicopter programme.
Lockheed Martin is providing additional M-TADS/PNVS components and hardware for the AH-64 Apache.
The USAF has taken acceptance of four MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters for developmental testing following earlier trials after Military Flight Release.