Boeing Defense, Space and Security has a new, U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command contract worth $265 million for nine MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters. “The G-Model is a critical asset for the Army, our nation, and the defense industrial base,” stated Andy Builta, Boeing's vice president and H-47 program manager. “We’re honored that the Army’s special operators trust us to deliver it.”
The Chinook Block II helicopters will achieve a payload of 22,000 lbs. (10,000 kg) with 4,000 ft. (1,200 m) and 95°F (35°C) “high and hot hover performance,” eventually increasing to 6,000 ft. (1,800 m) to carry a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Maximum takeoff weight would be raised to 24,500 kg (54,000 lbs.)
The Block II series helicopters represent a design revision to the earlier Chinook helicopters, used by the U.S. Army and other military branches, and allied defense forces, mainly for troop transport, artillery placement, and battlefield resupply. The Special Operations Aviation Command previously used the MH-47G for nearly a decade.
Assembly began last year for a total of 15 MH-47G Block II Chinooks, with first deliveries to begin in 2021.
Now under contract for total of 24 of the new Chinooks, Boeing commented that the "improved structure and weight reduction initiatives like new lighter weight fuel pods … increase performance, efficiency, and commonality across the fleet. The new Chinooks will give the Army significantly more capability for extremely challenging missions."