A new California National Guard CH-47F Chinook is tailed by an older CH-47D over the San Francisco Bay on Jan. 9.
Boeing has sealed a $26 million deal with Saudi Arabia for eight CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters, adding to the contracts the company has inked with the Royal Saudi Land Forces under a multi-billion-dollar foreign military sales program.
The U.S. Army May 25 awarded Boeing the $26 million contract for eight new-build Chinooks in the most up-to-date configuration. Work will be performed at the company’s CH-47 manufacturing plant outside Philadelphia through July 2021.
The contract modification is part of a much larger deal signed in August 2017 for $222.5 million to provide Saudi Arabia with the multi-purpose aircraft. The U.S. State Department in 2017 approved the sale of up to 48 CH-47Fs to Saudi Arabia for an estimated $3.5 billion.
That, in turn, is part of a deal the presidential administration solidified in March worth a total of $460 billion over the next decade. Just shy of $110 billion in foreign military sales (FMS) through eight letters of acceptance and a memorandum of intent to develop future military capabilities will take immediate effect.
As a result of that deal, Boeing and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding that the company will establish a domestic Saudi manufacturing presence and hire thousands of local workers to assemble and maintain the kingdom’s military helicopter fleets. Saudi Arabia also flies the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopter.
One of the letters of intent signed by the Saudi king under the umbrella arms deal establishes a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Saudi-based Taqnia to support final assembly and completion of 150 S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters.
That program will create more than 450 jobs including in Connecticut at Sikorsky and throughout the U.S. supply chain, Lockheed said. It also creates an additional 450 jobs in Saudi Arabia, developing local capabilities through technology and skills transfer.