Boeing will continue its support for the U.S. Army’s inventory of H-47 Chinook rotor blades with a new $160 million contract award.
The five-year performance-based logistics agreement extends work that began in 2012 and calls for the continued management of stock availability and the overhauling of all Chinook blades for the U.S. Army. Boeing is responsible for rotor blade maintenance, repair and overhaul, as well as developing innovative ways to save blades that would typically be removed from service. There are more than 450 U.S. Army Chinooks worldwide.
“The Chinook has proved itself to be critical to the U.S. Army’s wide range of missions, and supply availability is critical to the Chinook’s operational readiness,” said Kathleen Jolivette, director of U.S. Army Services for Boeing Global Services. “With our demonstrated performance and expertise, we look forward to partnering with our customers on reducing ownership costs and extending blade life for mission success.”
Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter whose primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply.
It has a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external ventral cargo hooks. With a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) the helicopter was faster than contemporary 1960s utility helicopters and attack helicopters, and is still one of the fastest helicopters in the US inventory. The CH-47 is among the heaviest lifting Western helicopters.
The Chinook was designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s; it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. It is one of the few aircraft of that era – along with the fixed-wing Lockheed C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft – that remain in production and frontline service, with over 1,200 built to date.
The helicopter has been sold to 20 nations with the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force being its largest users.