The US Army Special Operations Aviation Command has received its first new Boeing MH-47G Special Operations Chinook helicopter.
The new-build Chinook has been delivered one month ahead of schedule and follows the successful completion of its maiden flight.
Boeing cargo helicopters vice-president and H-47 programme manager Steve Parker said: "The advanced technology inherent in the new-build MH-47G ensures that the users and operators will have the superior mission capability that they require.
"This delivery also begins a new chapter that will carry the Chinook forward for many more decades and is the latest demonstration of Boeing and the wider Team Chinook’s commitment to delivering upon promises made."
The new MH-47G configuration incorporates several production improvements, including the digital advanced flight control system, more robust, improved monolithic machined-frames, and improved air transportability.
As part of the $300m programme, the company has been contracted by the US Army to deliver eight aircraft, through to 2015.
The new aircraft are being produced as part of the current CH-47F / MH-47G modernisation programmes, which will ensure the tandem rotor helicopter remains in the army fleet until at the least the 2030s.
Designed to perform long-range missions at low-level, day or night, in adverse weather and over all types of terrain, the MH-47G builds on the MH-47E capabilities with the addition of the digital common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit and enhanced aircraft survivability equipment.
The CAAS includes integrated forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and multimode radar for nap-of-the-earth and low-level flight operations, while allowing global communications and navigation.
Based on a newly designed monolithic, machine-framed fuselage, the MH-47Gs contain a fully integrated digital cockpit management system, long-range fuel tanks and advanced cargo-handling capabilities.
Image: The MH-47G-configured Chinook helicopter of the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command. Photo: courtesy of the Boeing Company.