Boeing wins new contract from Saudi Arabia for CH-47F Chinook helicopters

Boeing has been awarded a $25 million modification  to Foreign Military Sales contract for the delivery of eight CH-47F cargo helicopters for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command, the US Defense Department said on May 25, 2018.

Boeing wins new contract from Saudi Arabia for CH 7F Chinook helicopter 001 A US Army CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopter in Afghanistan
(Credit: US Army)

"Work will be performed in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2021," the DoD stated. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

On December 2016, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced a possible FMS to Saudi Arabia for 48 Ch-47F heavy-lift helicopters, for an estimated cost of $3.51 billion. 

This award includes the helicopters, 48 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems, 48 M240H 7.62mm MG, M134D Mini-Guns or equivalent type guns with support equipment and training and an Aircraft Survivability Equipment. 

"This sale will increase the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command's (RSLFAC) interoperability with U.S. forces and advance the development of a heavy lift helicopter capability for Saudi Arabia," the DSCA then said. 

The CH-47F upgrades include 4,868-shaft-horsepower Honeywell engines and the airframe featuring greater single-piece construction to lower maintenance requirements. The CH-47F can fly at speeds of over 282 km/h with a payload of more than 9.5 t. New avionics include a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit and BAE Systems' Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS).

The Royal Saudi Land Forces currently deploy a variety of US-built helicopters, including UH-60 Black Hawk medium-lift transport aircraft, AH-64 Apache gunships and the CH-47, among others.