J C Menon
The U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command will buy nine more MH-47G Block II CHINOOK helicopters from Boeing at a cost of US$265m, adding to the 24 next-generation CHINOOKs already on contract. The majority of the work will be performed at its facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania and is expected to be completed February 2023.
“CHINOOK Block II combines new technologies, including the Advanced CHINOOK Rotor Blade, redesigned fuel tanks, a strengthened fuselage, and an improved drivetrain – all aimed at increasing lift capability. With these technological advancements, CHINOOK Block II will provide commonality across the fleet and enable our soldiers to return home safely for decades,” a Boeing official said.
The new Chinooks will give the Army significantly more capability for extremely challenging missions.
“The G-Model is a critical asset for the Army, our nation, and the defence industrial base,” said Andy Builta, vice president and H-47 program manager. “We’re honoured that the Army’s special operators trust us to deliver it.”