Boeing has started final assembly of the Canadian Army’s first CH-147F Chinook helicopter at the Ridley Park facility in Pennsylvania, US.

The CH-47F Chinook is equipped with an infrared and electro-optical camera and self-defence equipment to guard against missile threats.

Canada signed a $1.15bn contract with Boeing for the acquisition of 15 CH-47F Chinooks in 2009.

The aircraft will support the Canadian army in conducting secondary search and rescue missions, as well as during emergencies such as fires, floods and earthquakes.

The first helicopter is set to undergo tests and evaluation flights next year, with deliveries expected to start from 2013.

The new fleet will be based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Canada.