MILITARY | UTILITY
As it lingers over finalizing an order for 16 Chinooks, Canada is turning to the United States to quickly deliver six of the Boeing transports to support its deployment of troops to NATO coalition operations in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Apr. 21 notified Congress of the possible sale of six CH-47Ds to Canada. It valued the aircraft and associated equipment and services at $375 million if all options are exercised. "Canada needs these helicopters to enhance its capabilities in the Global War on Terrorism," the agency said. Having Chinooks in the same configuration as U.S. ones "would greatly contribute to Canada’s military capability by making it a more sustainable coalition force."
The proposed Foreign Military Sale transaction would include M240H machine guns, 30 AN/AVS-6/7(V)1 night-vision imaging systems, and Honeywell T-55-GA-714A engines (including two spares), as well as mission, communications/navigation and ground-support equipment, spare and repair parts, special tools and test equipment, publications and technical data and contractor support.
Canada in 2006 picked Boeing to provide 16 CH-47s without a full-scale competition because, it said, the company was the only vendor that could meet its requirements "in a timely manner." Canada wanted the helicopters as soon as possible. But it has yet to finalize a contract for the $5 billion acquisition, which also includes 20 years of support for the aircraft. Those Chinooks are expected to enter service in 2011.
The first cadre of Canadian Chinook already is training with the U.S. Army. The six Chinooks are expected to be ready for operations in Afghanistan within six months.