Boeing has been awarded a $280m US Army contract for 11 new CH-47F Chinook helicopters, increasing the number of new Chinooks on contract to 59. Aircraft deliveries under this award will begin in 2011.
Since Boeing unveiled the aircraft at its Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, production facility in June 2006, the new Chinook has evaluations including airworthiness, functional and operational testing at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The aircraft have also completed more than 1,000 flight hours, which incorporated a range of night-vision-goggle training exercises that simulated air assault, combat re-supply and transport operations.
The CH-47F helicopter features a newly designed, modernised airframe, a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit and a BAE Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS).
Powered by two 4,868-horsepower Honeywell engines, the new CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175mph and transport more than 21,000 pounds. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius of more than 400 nautical miles.