Boeing receives last contract for CH-47F Chinook Block I
Boeing has received its last orders for the Chinook CH-47F Block I helicopter as the company transitions all work onto Block II aircraft in the expectation of delivering the last of the Block I variants in 2027.
The order of a single aircraft to supplement Spain’s current fleet of 17 and of 18 for South Korea is part of a $793 million FMS deal agreed with the US DoD. The latter order will take the number of countries operating the aircraft type to 16.
South Korea, the world’s third largest operator of Chinooks, is buying the CH-47Fs as part of an effort to replace its CH-47D aircraft, having abandoned plans to upgrade these old Chinooks. Shephard Defence Insight lists South Korea as owning 43 CH-47D Chinooks (including six HH-47D combat search and rescue helicopters of the ROK Air Force).
Boeing reiterated that it will continue to support the older platforms and upgrades are under way to modernise Block I aircraft which are already in service. Block II aircraft will begin to dominate the production line over the next few years with this aircraft providing longer range, a reinforced airframe and redesigned fuel tanks.
Currently, six Block II aircraft are under contract with the US Army, 36 with US Army Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and 14 with the UK. SOCOM have been receiving Block II aircraft for several years and the US Army will receive its first example early next year.
More from Defence Helicopter
Germany has committed to sending Ukraine six of its 21 retiring WS-61 Westland Sea King multirole, amphibious helicopters.
Boeing has clinched a major contract modification to further its backing of the US Special Operations Command’s MH-47G Chinook aircraft modernisation effort.
Two KAI helicopters, the KUH-1E utility helicopter and the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH), have taken centre stage at the Dubai Airshow 2023.
The Italian Navy now boasts a fleet of 56 NH90 helicopters comprising 46 SH-90As and 10 MH-90As.
The Argentinian Air Force (FAA) and the Argentinian Naval Aviation Command (COAN) are looking for options to upgrade their helicopter fleets.
Lockheed Martin promises a boost to the British job market and export opportunities, while strengthening ties with Poland and positioning the UK for a future in rotorcraft technology in the event of a New Medium Helicopter competition triumph.