Citing increased demand, US Special Operations orders 7 additional MH-47G Chinooks from Boeing

U.S. Special Operations Command has awarded Boeing a $194 million contract modification for seven additional MH-47G Chinook helicopters, the Department of Defense said.

The $194,224,723 cost-plus-fixed-fee type delivery order modification to contract W91215-16-G-0001 is for six renew-build and one new-build MH-47G rotary wing aircraft, the Wednesday, June 12 release said.

“This action is required to sustain U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) heavy assault, rotary wing aircraft and to mitigate the impact of the MH-47G aircraft availability in light of increased SOF operational demands,” the release said.

Previously, the contract was modified to add four additional MH-47G Block II helicopters with an estimated completion date of June 29, 2020.

In November, Boeing was awarded a $42 million contract modification for four new Chinooks for the command due to “urgent need.”

The MH-47G is the special operations variant of Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook multi-role, heavy-lift helicopter used by the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command.

It is is used in heavy-lift missions such as troop, weapons, vehicles and other equipment transportation, as well as civil and humanitarian relief missions. It can conduct long-range missions at a low level and in adverse weather conditions during the day and at night.

The helicopter is armed with two M134 7.62mm electrically operated, air-cooled mini guns and two M240 7.62mm belt-fed machine guns mounted on either side of the fuselage.

The U.S. Army has around 70 special operations Chinooks, and the special operations force operates 36 MH-47D and MH-47E aircraft that are being upgraded to the G variant. The MH-47 model is not exported, but Boeing is also developing a Block II configuration for the CH-47F variant.

Saudi Arabia is set to buy eight of the CH-47 helicopters from Boeing under a $26 million contract modification announced in May 2018. In April 2018, the U.S. Department of State approved a possible $1.3 billion sale of 17 CH-47F Chinooks to Spain with unique modifications. The U.S. State Department approved a $3.5 billion sale of 36 of the H-47 Extended Range variant to the United Kingdom in October.

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