Boeing delivered the first new-build MH-47G Chinook to the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC) Sept. 29, 2014 – a full month ahead of schedule, according to a Boeing release.
“It is an honor to be trusted to design, produce and deliver this advanced capability for the Army Special Operations customer,” said Steve Parker, vice president, cargo helicopters & H-47 program manager. “The advanced technology inherent in the new-build MH-47G ensures that the users and operators will have the superior mission capability that they require. This delivery also begins a new chapter that will carry the Chinook forward for many more decades and is the latest demonstration of Boeing and the wider Team Chinook’s commitment to delivering upon promises made.”
The new build MH-47G configuration incorporates a number of production improvements, including a digital advanced flight control system, a more robust, improved monolithic machined airframe, longer range, and improved air transportability.
The MH-47 has been a critical asset to SOCOM for many years, but especially over the past 13 years in Afghanistan, where the Chinook is the only helicopter able to carry heavy loads over and through the country’s mountainous areas. Indeed the CH-47 Chinook is vital to several nations within NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), including Canada and the United Kingdom. The MH-47, however, is a special variety of Chinook, with in-flight refueling capability, an extensive sensor and self-defense suite, and other features unique to the special operations forces version of the venerable twin-rotor helicopter.
The new build MH-47G configuration incorporates a number of production improvements, including a digital advanced flight control system, a more robust, improved monolithic machined airframe, longer range, and improved air transportability. The entire program, valued at approximately $300 million, calls for eight aircraft deliveries through 2015.