RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa., June 11 (UPI)
Boeing and the U.S. Army have signed a multiyear, $4 billion contract for as many as 215 CH-47F Chinook helicopters.
The five-year contract calls for an initial 177 helicopters to be delivered beginning in 2015, with options for 38 more.
The multiyear deal, instead of new contracts annually, will reportedly save the government more than $800 million to procure the aircraft.
"This multiyear contract provides unprecedented savings for the U.S. Army and American taxpayers," said 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 order will eventually bring the Army's CH-47F total procurement close to its target of 464 aircraft. The Army's current CH-47F fleet number 241 aircraft.
"The Army is benefiting not only from the efficiencies of a multiyear contract but also from the production efficiency gains Boeing and our suppliers have made," said Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Boeing Cargo Helicopter Programs. "That includes the $130 million investment we made to modernize the Chinook factory."