Boeing signs $4 billion US Army Chinook contract
Boeing will supply 177 CH-47F Chinook helicopters to the US Army under a new $4 billion multi-year contract announced on 11 June. The contract includes options for the army to increase its total buy to 215 aircraft.
The contract is a cost-effective alternative to annually contracting for the aircraft - something Boeing said will save the US government more than $800 million.
Col Robert Barrie, US Army project manager for Cargo Helicopters, said: ‘This multi-year contract provides unprecedented savings for the US Army and American taxpayers. But the most important benefit is the continued support these aircraft will provide to soldiers in the field and civilians in distress.’
This contract will see deliveries begin in 2015, and will eventually bring the army’s CH-47F total procurement close to its target of 464 aircraft, including 24 to replace peacetime attrition aircraft. The force's current inventory stands at 241 F-model aircraft.
The tandem-rotor Chinook is the primary rotary-wing heavy-lift asset of combat, logistics and humanitarian operations for the US Army. There are 15 Army active duty and National Guard units operating the CH-47F, and a 16th is currently being equipped. CH-47F units have logged more than 86,000 combat hours in Afghanistan, maintaining an operational readiness rate of over 80 percent while conducting air assault, transport, and medical evacuation and support missions.
Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Boeing Cargo Helicopter Programs, said: ‘The army is benefiting not only from the efficiencies of a multi-year contract but also from the production efficiency gains Boeing and our suppliers have made. That includes the $130 million investment we made to modernise the Chinook factory. This contract will enable Boeing and our partners and suppliers in 45 states to bring stability to the workforce and to invest in production tooling, processes and other capital improvements.’
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