As part of a US Department of Defense Foreign Military Sale (FMS), Boeing have received a contract to produce 18 CH-47F Block I Chinooks for South Korea and one additional aircraft for Spain. As Boeing continues transitioning to building the advanced Block II configuration, the deal valued at up to $793 million represents the final aircraft to be ordered on the current CH-47F Block I FMS contract with the US government.
“The CH-47F Block I Chinook continues to be the preeminent heavy-lift helicopter in the world for good reason,” said Heather McBryan, H-47 vice president and programme manager, Boeing Vertical Lift. “While this concludes Block I orders as we continue our modernisation efforts, we’ll continue supporting our customers’ aircraft as they play a vital role for years to come.”
Although production and deliveries of the CH-47F Block I will conclude with this order in 2027, Chinook modernisation efforts will continue with the already underway H-47 Block II programme. Block II provides increased lift and range thanks to an improved drivetrain, 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 United Kingdom. SOCOM have been receiving Block II aircraft for several years and the U.S. Army will receive its first CH-47F Block II in early 2024.
“The Block II programme is the natural successor to an already exceptional aircraft,” McBryan added. “It will provide the US Army and international allies even more capabilities in a complex and evolving battlefield.”
Block I and Block II aircraft will coexist in the heavy-lift space, a July 5 company statement has said. With this latest acquisition of Chinook Block I aircraft, Spain will increase its fleet to 18 aircraft and South Korea will join 15 other operators who benefit from the digital cockpit and advanced cargo handling ability.
“South Korea adds to a growing list of operators around the globe that recognise the value the modernised CH-47F Chinook brings to the table,” said Vince Logsdon, vice president, Global Business Development and Strategic Marketing for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “While Spain is already reaping the benefits of the aircraft in Europe, we are honoured to support South Korea’s heavy-lift helicopter modernisation with a versatile product capable of meeting the demanding mission requirements in Asia Pacific.” –ba/adj/mgm (Image: Boeing)