Canadian CH-147F programme reaches development milestone
The Canadian Department of National Defence announced on 21 October that final assembly of the first CH-147F Canadian Chinook helicopter has begun at Boeing’s Ridley Park, Pennsylvania plant. The development is a key milestone in Canada’s Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopter Project.
The Canadian government is acquiring 15 CH-147F Chinook helicopters under the programme, which will strengthen the Canadian Forces’ ability to operate safely in remote and isolated areas. The helicopter will feature long-range fuel tanks; a self-protection system to protect its occupants against threats such as missiles; an infra-red and electro-optical camera which will increase the safety and capabilities of the helicopter; as well as improved electrical systems.
Julian Fantino, associate minister of national defence, said of the development: ‘Our government is fully committed to providing our brave men and women of the Canadian Forces the new tools they need to defend Canada’s interests at home and abroad. The acquisition of these important capabilities demonstrates our ongoing efforts to help the Canadian Forces help Canadians.’
According to a government statement, the project is moving ‘ahead as scheduled and within budget’, with the first CH-147F set to come off the assembly line for tests and evaluation flights in June 2012. In June 2013, a new squadron at CFB Petawawa is scheduled to receive the first deliveries.
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