The US Army has taken delivery of the 100th modified CH-47F Chinook helicopter from Boeing at its Millville Modification Center facility in New Jersey, US.
Boeing Rotorcraft Support vice president Peri Widener said: "The modification work on new F-model Chinooks gives soldiers in the field the most advanced equipment possible without taking aircraft out of service at the unit or in theatre."
Under an initial production fielding support contract, the company recently invested $130m to establish a Chinook manufacturing facility near Philadelphia, US, where they undergo avionics and airframe modifications to support the new army requirements.
The facility was established in February 2010, after signing of a five-year lease agreement between the company and the Delaware River and Bay Authority for hangar space at the Millville Municipal Airport.
US Army’s CH-47F product manager lieutenant colonel Brad Killen said: "The Millville Modification Center is critical in providing modifications to the CH-47F prior to delivering the aircraft to Army units."
As part of the contract, Boeing also fields two new equipment training teams, consisting of CH-47F mechanics and technicians, to provide training support for army units in the US and overseas.
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Since the introduction of the first CH-47F production aircraft in August 2006, Boeing has trained and equipped eight US Army units with the Chinook to date and is presently equipping the ninth unit.
Currently, six army units have completed deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, performing missions such as air assault, transport, medical evacuation and support operations.
More than 450 Chinooks are currently in operation with military forces in 17 countries including Japan, the UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Thailand, Taiwan, Greece, Korea and Spain.
The CH-47F Chinook is a heavy-lift high-altitude helicopter used by the US Army to perform a multitude of operations, including military, humanitarian, disaster relief, search and rescue, and firefighting missions.
Image: A US Army’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter performing cargo supply missions at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. Photo: courtesy of UNC – CFC – USFK.