Boeing MH-47G. (Boeing Photo)
With an Army contract for 150 CH-47 helicopters July 19, Boeing [BA] in one week has sold more than half a billion dollars worth of Chinooks and support services for the heavylift helicopters.
On the heels of a $140 million contract to build four MH-47G Block II aircraft, Boeing [BA] has sealed a quarter-billion-dollar deal to maintain the Special Ops Chinooks already in service.
Announced July 18, the indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract for engineering support of U.S. Special Operations Command’s Chinooks is worth a maximum $264 million.
The following day, the conventional Army awarded Boeing a $181 million contract for procurement of up to 156 Multi-Year II Block I configured CH-47F Chinook helicopters. Six of those aircraft are firm, and will be for the U.S. Army, according to Boeing. The contract includes additional options of 150 aircraft for U.S. Army or foreign military sales customers. The $181 million covers the six firm aircraft and brings Boeing's weekly take for its H-47 line to $585 million.
Under the contract, Boeing will furnish all labor, services, personnel, data, transportation, equipment, facilities and materials required to accomplish the work and perform engineering tasks. The first task order of the contract in the amount of $120,497 is funded with fiscal 2017 procurement funds and is multiyear. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Defense Department contract award.
All subsequent task orders over the five-year ordering period will be separately funded. A majority of the work will be performed at Boeing’s H-47 production facility in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.
A week ago, Boeing received a $139.8 million contract to build four MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters for U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command.
That order of Special Ops helicopters marked the start of Block II production for SOCOM expected to run into the late 2020s.
The Army has 69 MH-47G Chinooks in operation and eventually fill upgrade all of the highly classified aircraft to Block II configuration, an evolutionary upgrade package Boeing developed and is now producing under a $276 million contract awarded by the Army in 2017.
The first of three U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook Block II test aircraft was loaded into final assembly in late June, marking a major milestone in the effort to dramatically overhaul the Boeing-built heavy-lift helicopters. MH-47Gs are built to SOCOM standards and are equipped with classified avionics, sensors and weapons. Both models are built by Boeing at its manufacturing facility outside Philadelphia.
Block II was designed to achieve specific performance enhancement metrics, including a 22,000-pound payload and high/hot hover performance at 4,000-feet on a 95-degree day. Maximum takeoff weight is boosted to 54,000 pounds with the goal of carrying a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
Included in the upgrade package are improved avionics, speed enhancements and a beefier drivetrain that will transfer greater power from the 20 percent more powerful Honeywell [HON] T55 engines to all new, swept-tip advanced Chinook rotor blades. Without any other upgrades, the blades are designed to provide an additional 1,500-pounds of lift.