RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa., 13 June 2013. U.S. Army and Boeing (NYSE:BA) officials have signed a $4 billion, multi-year contract for 177 CH-47F Chinook helicopters.
With options, the Army could increase its total buy to 215 aircraft. As it stands, says a spokesperson, the agreement is a cost-effective alternative to annually contracting for the aircraft and is expected to save the U.S. government more than $800 million.
"This multi-year contract provides unprecedented savings for the U.S. Army and American taxpayers," says Col. Robert Barrie, U.S. Army project manager for cargo helicopters. "But the most important benefit is the continued support these aircraft will provide to soldiers in the field and civilians in distress."
The tandem-rotor Chinook performs combat, logistics, and humanitarian operations for the U.S. Army and 18 other operators around the world. This order would bring the Army's CH-47F total procurement close to its target of 464 aircraft, including 24 to replace peacetime attrition aircraft. The Army's current inventory stands at 241 F-model aircraft.
"The Army is benefiting not only from the efficiencies of a multi-year contract but also from the production efficiency gains Boeing and our suppliers have made," explains Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Boeing Cargo Helicopter Programs. "That includes the $130 million investment we made to modernize the Chinook factory. This contract will enable Boeing and our partners and suppliers in 45 states to bring stability to the workforce and to invest in production tooling, processes and other capital improvements."
Deliveries under the agreement will begin in 2015.