Boeing recently signed a $265 million contract for nine more MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters that employees in its Philadelphia plant will assemble for the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC). The MH-47G Block II Chinook features an improved structure and weight reduction initiatives like new lighter weight fuel pods that increase performance, efficiency, and commonality across the fleet. The new Chinooks will give the Army significantly more capability for extremely challenging missions. The MH-47G will meet the US Army Special Operations Command’s urgent need for heavy assault helicopters. Boeing is now on contract for 24 of the next-generation Chinooks.
“The G-Model is a critical asset for the Army, our nation, and the defense industrial base,” said Andy Builta, vice president and H-47 program manager. “We’re honored that the Army’s special operators trust us to deliver it.”
In a statement, the US Department of Defense said: “This action is required to sustain US Special Operations Forces (SOF) heavy assault, rotary wing aircraft and to mitigate the impact of the MH-47G aircraft availability in light of increased SOF operational demands.”
The Boeing MH-47G is a special operations variant of the CH-47 Chinook multi-role, heavy-lift helicopter. It is in service with the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOC). The first new-build MH-47G helicopter was delivered to the USASOC in September 2014.The MH-47G is used in heavy-lift missions such as the transportation of troops, ammunition, vehicles, equipment, fuel and supplies, as well as civil and humanitarian relief missions. The helicopter can conduct long-range missions at low level, in adverse weather conditions during the day and at night. The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) of the US Army has the requirement for 61 MH-47Gs.