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Boeing to supply Chinooks worth $4.3 billion to US army

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NEW YORK (BNS): Boeing will supply 191 CH-47F Chinook helicopters, a heavy lift transport rotorcraft, to the US army after the contract worth $4.3 billion was sealed on Tuesday.

CH-47 F Chinook's primary function is moving troops, ammunition, fuel, artillery and other battlefield logistics. It can be used for medical evacuation, disaster relief and search and rescue operations in the secondary role.

"This multi year award will yield a cost savings of more than $ 449 million for the US army and tax payers," said Jack Dougherty, vice president, Boeing H-47 programs.

The contract has a provision for supply of additional 24 aircraft.

The US army also expressed its satisfaction over the deal. "The army is committed to providing an outstanding CH-47F Chinook aircraft to our soldiers in the field," said col. Newman Shufflebarger, army project manager for cargo helicopters.

Boeing has already supplied 48 CH-47F helicopters to the US army so far. The company said the aircraft received its combat-ready certification from the army in 2007, the F-model has completed several thousand flight hours. It has been deployed in Liberia and is also undergoing first tests in Iraq.

"A long-term contract commitment is good for the war fighter, the Army customer and U.S. business," said Ken Eland, chief engineer for Boeing Tandem Rotor Programs and capture team leader for the company's CH-47F multiyear pursuit.

With its two rotors, the helicopter is powered by two 4733-hoursepower Honeywell engines. The new version of CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and can transport more than 20,000 pounds.

It can operate in a radius of more than 400 nautical miles and has been equipped with Robertson Extended Range Fuel System.
The US army ahs already fielded the aircraft after it was declared ready for combat last year. It is being operated by Bravo Company, 2nd general support aviation battalion, 4th combat aviation brigade, 4th infantry division based at Fort Hood, Texas.
"This aircraft is light years ahead in flight management systems compared with our older aircraft," said Col. Patrick Tierney, commander, combat aviation brigade. The digital cockpit provides different pages of flight plans and alternate routes to the crew.

"There is a great deal of enthusiasm for the CH-47F from pilots and crews in the field," said Jack Dougherty, vice president, Boeing H-47 Programs. "This advanced aircraft provides greater capability to meet our military forces' growing range of mission demands


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