WASHINGTON — The Army has awarded Boeing a $265 million contract to construct 9 extra MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters for the service’s Special Operations Aviation Command, in line with a July 31 Defense Department contract announcement.
The firm is now below contract to construct 24 of the G-model Chinooks. The service is anticipated to purchase 69 particular operations variants.
The unique plan was to acquire 473 F-model Block II helicopters for the lively drive as effectively, however the Army determined in its fiscal 2020 funds request to not purchase them for the traditional drive and solely discipline the newest variant to particular operations, which was a lot in want of a substitute for the variant in its fleet.
The service’s resolution to chop the plane from the lively drive was based mostly on the necessity to unencumber future money to cowl the price of an formidable plan to purchase two new future vertical elevate plane for long-range assault and assault reconnaissance missions.
Congress has since opposed the transfer, injecting $28 million in FY20 funding into this system to buy long-lead gadgets to fabricate F-model Block II Chinooks for the lively Army. The Army’s FY21 funds once more offered no funding for this system. The same plus-up within the congressional FY21 spending invoice might proceed to push the service again within the course of shopping for extra Block II variants.
The contract award is the third in a sequence of awards to purchase G-model Chinooks. Boeing acquired contracts in 2018 and 2019 as effectively.
The Army permitted the Block II effort to maneuver into the engineering and manufacturing growth section in April 2017, and this system formally started in July 2017. The plane started flying in assessments in mid-2019.
The upgrades within the Block II model embrace newly designed rotorblades, main adjustments to the drive system and different enhancements like non-segmented gasoline cells. The plane is anticipated to purchase again roughly 4,000 kilos of extra load capability and provides vary functionality.