Boeing’s HH-47 helicopter has been selected by the US Air Force as the winner of the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) program competition.

The CSAR program calls for initial operational capability of the HH-47 aircraft in 2012. Under the program, which is valued at up to $10bn, Boeing will build 141 production aircraft and four test aircraft at its Rotorcraft Systems manufacturing facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, which is also home to the MH-47G Special Operations and CH-47F Chinook programs.

CSAR-X is a US Air Force initiative to procure more capable and survivable aircraft able to recover isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory.

The tandem rotor, heavy-lift, high-altitude HH-47 is based on the CH/MH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, with performance capabilities that have been widely demonstrated in numerous US and international humanitarian relief operations.