The US Department of Defense Foreign Military Sale (FMS) awarded a contract to Boeing to manufacture 18 CH-47F Block I Chinooks for South Korea, along with an extra aircraft for Spain.
Boeing’s ongoing transition towards manufacturing the Block II configuration is accompanied by the finalization of a contract valued at up to $793 million. This agreement signifies the last aircraft to be ordered under the current CH-47F Block I FMS contract with the US government.
While the CH-47F Block I production and deliveries will be completed with this recent order by 2027, efforts to modernize the Chinook will continue through the ongoing H-47 Block II program, stated the company.
As Boenig stated, Block II enhancements, including an improved drivetrain, a reinforced airframe, and redesigned fuel tanks, will provide increased lift and range capabilities. Both the Block I and Block II aircraft will coexist in the heavy-lift space.
Presently, there are six Block II aircraft under contract with the US Army, 36 with the US Army Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and 14 with the United Kingdom.
SOCOM has been receiving Block II aircraft for several years, and the US Army is scheduled to receive its first CH-47F Block II in early 2024.
“South Korea adds to a growing list of operators around the globe that recognize the value the modernized CH-47F Chinook brings to the table,” said Vince Logsdon, vice president, Global Business Development and Strategic Marketing for Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
“While Spain is already reaping the benefits of the aircraft in Europe, we are honored to support South Korea’s heavy-lift helicopter modernization with a versatile product capable of meeting the demanding mission requirements in the Asia Pacific,” he continued.
The recent procurement of Chinook Block I aircraft will contribute to Spain’s fleet, bringing the total number to 18, while South Korea will join the list of 15 other operators that benefit from the advanced features of the digital cockpit and enhanced cargo handling capabilities, stated the company.