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Boeing announced on 1 July 2024 that it had delivered the first CH-47F Block II Chinook heavylift helicopter to the US Army as part of its ongoing modernisation efforts. The aircraft is the first of up to 465 CH-47F Block I Chinooks that the army is expected to modernise to the new Block II configuration.

So far another three helicopters are set to be delivered this year under a Lot 1 purchase and two more next year under a Lot 2 buy. a full-rate production decision on the CH-47F Block II is expected around the July to September 2025 timeframe.

With an improved drivetrain, reinforced airframe and enhanced fuel system, the CH-47F Block II provides for an additional 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of maximum gross weight and extends the Chinook’s mission radius for nearly all payloads. In addition to the capability improvements, the aircraft’s design enables future technology upgrades.

“The CH-47F Block II provides capability improvements allowing the US Army to lift more, fly farther and maintain their aircraft better than ever before,” Heather McBryan, Boeing’s vice president and programme manager for cargo programmes, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “This modernisation programme enables the battle-tested Chinook to play a key role in multi-domain operations going forward.”

“As the army’s heavylift platform of tomorrow, the CH-47F Block II provides increased capability while continuing support of the army’s requirement to remain strategically responsive across the full spectrum of operations,” added Viva Kelly, US Army Cargo Helicopters acting project manager.

Boeing’s CH-47F Block II programme improves aircraft sustainment, according to the company, as the improved reliability of the new rotor system minimises unscheduled maintenance, while the simplified fuel system drives sustainment efficiency, reducing maintenance burden and cost.

With the first CH-47F Block II Chinook heavylift helicopter now delivered to the US Army, another three are expected to be delivered this year. (Photo: Boeing)