Boeing and the US Army recently signed contracts valued at more than $1.5bn for up to 66 CH-47F Chinook helicopters.

The production contracts include 16 new-build CH-47Fs and nine remanufactured CH-47Fs valued at $624m. The contracts also include options for 22 additional new-build CH-47Fs and 19 remanufactured CH-47Fs valued at more than $920m. Aircraft deliveries will begin in early 2008.

According to Boeing, the CH-47F features a newly designed, modernised airframe and a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System. The helicopter's advanced avionics provide improved situational awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that stores pre-flight and mission data.

‘The CH-47F is central to the US Army's aviation modernisation program and will remain in service for decades to come,’ commented Jack Dougherty, director, H-47 Programs.