The US Army has taken delivery of the first multi-year II configured CH-47F Chinook medium-to-heavy lift helicopter from Boeing at the production facility in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, US, one month ahead of schedule.
The delivery forms part of a $4bn multi-year contract that was awarded to Boeing in June 2013. This covers the supply of 155 CH-47Fs and options for an additional 60 aircraft, with deliveries expected to continue through to 2019.
Accepting the aircraft for the US Army, Cargo Helicopter Office project manager colonel Rob Barrie said: "This delivery is an example of teamwork and commitment to the troops in the field."
Cargo Helicopters vice-president and H-47 programme manager Steve Parker said: "Experienced teams worked together to deliver the advanced, multi-mission capability of this aircraft to meet the army's needs today and well into the future."
An upgraded version of D-model, the CH-47F Chinook features enhanced engines and improved avionics, including the Rockwell Collins common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit and BAE Systems' digital advanced-flight control system (DAFCS), as well as an upgraded airframe.
The multi-year II configuration also incorporates the new cargo-on-off-loading system for rapid reconfiguration of the floor to easily carry out cargo missions.
A Cargo-platform health environment system has also been installed to provide real-time health monitoring to reduce maintenance actions and the overall lifecycle cost of the product.
The heavy-lift high-altitude helicopter is extensively used by the US Army for air assault, transport, and medical evacuation and support missions in Afghanistan. It also serves as a backbone of combat, logistics and humanitarian operations for 18 other operators worldwide.
The multi-year II configuration helicopter has been ordered by international customers, including Australia, Turkey and the UAE.
Image: The first multi-year II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter at Boeing's production facility in Pennsylvania, US. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.