By James T. McKenna | May 1, 2006
Boeing and AgustaWestland are discussing collaboration on international Chinook upgrades that would bring the benefits of the U.S. Army's CH-47F program to operators around the world.
Through the application of "lean manufacturing" techniques,outsourcing and redesign, Boeing has slashed the cost of building new Chinooks. That helped convince the U.S. Army to transition from a program of remanufacturing CH-47Ds to the structurally improved -47F configuration in favor of building all-new F-model airframes. The aircraft use refurbished dynamics.
The CH-47F gives the Army a common Chinook configuration with a stiffer airframe less prone to expensive vibration. It also standardizes the Honeywell T55-GA-714A engine first installed in special-operations Chinooks to boost high-and-hot performance of the cargo fleet.
The Italian military's CH-47Cs are at the end of their service lives, and Boeing and AgustaWestland are discussing teaming on a program to refurbish them, according to Michael Tkach, vice president of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.
"We both think that's the way to go," he said. The discussions are centering on "what does Boeing need to do in the U.S. and AgustaWestland in Italy to make a teaming arrangement work. Click here for more Chinook news from Rotor & Wing