June 13 (UPI) — Citing increased needs, U.S. Special Operations Forces will receive seven additional MH-47G Chinook helicopters from Boeing at a cost of $194.2 million.
Boeing will deliver six renew-build and one new-build MH-47G rotary wing aircraft, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.
Because of increased operational demands, the Pentagon said in a news release “the order is required to sustain U.S. Special Operations Forces heavy assault, rotary wing aircraft and to mitigate the impact of the MH-47G aircraft availability.”
A final delivery date was not specified.
Fiscal 2019 procurement, defense-wide appropriations in the amount of $77.4 million and Army fiscal 2019 aircraft procurement in the amount of $116.9 million were obligated at the time of award. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
In the past year, Boeing was contracted to supply eight additional special-use helicopters for the U.S. Army.
Last July, Boeing was awarded a $131.1 million contract for four additional Chinook special operations helicopters for the U.S. Army. That contract marked the start of a production run for the Block II Chinooks that is expected to last for about a decade, Boeing said.
And in November, Boeing was awarded a $43 million contract to build four MH-47G helicopters with the Pentagon citing an “urgent need” for special ops.
The U.S. Army has 69 of the special operations Chinooks. The first model was delivered to Special Operations Command in 2014.
The MH-47G is the special operations variant of Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook multi-role, heavy-lift helicopter, containing a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system.
The CH-47 series has been in use since its introduction in 1962 and was used in Vietnam.
The Chinook is the Army’s only heavy-lift cargo helicopter supporting combat and non-combat operations, including humanitarian roles, according to the Army. It is used to transport troops, weapons, vehicles and other equipment transportations.
Its troop capacity is 36 and its load maximum is 50,000 pounds.