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US approves sale to UAE of 10 Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters for $830 million

The United States Department of State has approved a possible sale of 10 Chinook heavy lift helicopters to the United Arab Emirates for more than $830 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.

The UAE requested to buy 10 CH-47F Chinook helicopters and a wide range related equipment – including navigation systems, weapons, the Extended Range Fuel System, communications equipment, sensors, protection systems including armor, parts, spares, support, and training – at a total estimated cost of $830.3 million, the Thursday, November 8 release said.

“The proposed sale will expand the UAE’s helicopter fleet. Further, it will enhance the UAE’s operational and defensive capabilities to better defend U.S. and UAE national security interests in the region, and increase the UAE’s contributions to any future joint or coalition efforts requiring helicopter support,” the DSCA said.

Boeing Helicopters Aircraft Company, Honeywell Engine Company and Science and Engineering Services are the principal contractors.

US Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter Afghanistan
A US Army Task Force Brawler CH-47F Chinook helicopter flight engineer sits on the rear ramp with a machine gun while conducting a training exercise near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, March 26, 2018. Image: US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook

The CH-47F Chinook is Boeing’s flagship heavy lift helicopter and among the heaviest in the world. It is the workhorse aircraft for U.S. and other military forces and is used to ferry troops and supplies.

There are a number of variants of the twin-rotor helicopter in service. The CH-47F variant has a cruise speed of  290 km/h (180 mph) and service ceiling of 20,000 feet (6,000 m). It can carry a payload of more than 10,800 kg (24,000 lbs).

Chinook variants are deployed by the U.S. in Afghanistan, U.K. Royal Air Force in Mali, and by special operations forces around the world.

The Chinook has a standard crew of three and the large internal space can carry up to 50 passengers.

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. State Department approved a possible $1.3 billion sale of 17 CH-47F Chinooks to Spain with unique modifications, and in October approved a $3.5 billion sale of 36 of the H-47 Extended Range variant to the United Kingdom.

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


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