Micha Klootwijk | Dreamstime
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Boeing Draws $578M RAF Order for Helicopters

June 23, 2021
The U.K. will be the first international operator of Block II Chinook heavy-lift aircraft, with a contract for 14 of the H-47 extended-range helicopters, for deliveries beginning in 2026.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security has a new Foreign Military Sales contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command to deliver H-47 extended-range Chinook helicopters to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force. The $578-million award covers 14 of the Block II variant of the heavy-lift aircraft now in development, used mainly for troop transport, artillery placement, and battlefield resupply, with deliveries to begin in 2026.

The “Block II” Chinooks 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. The maximum takeoff weight will be 24,500 kg (54,000 lbs.)

The United Kingdom will be the first international operator of the Block II Chinook.

According to Boeing, the extended range Chinook will give the RAF more versatility to execute domestic and international heavy-lift missions. “These Chinooks are the future of heavy-lift, built on an existing foundation of advanced capability and life cycle affordability,” stated Boeing v.p. and H-47 program manager Andy Builta. “This contract for Block II aircraft sets the stage for the next 60 years of Chinook excellence on the battlefield.”