Joined: Sep 16, 2006 Posts: 736 Location: North England
Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:58 am Post subject: Boeing sees boom times for Chinook
Boeing sees boom times for Chinook
June 07, 2011
Boeing has completed the second phase of the redevelopment of its Chinook production line as it continues to ramp up production of the aircraft. According to Leanne Caret, vice president of Chinook programmes, the company is now producing the aircraft at the highest rate in 20 years.
The $130 million capital investment in the factory, which is the largest ever made by the company, will allow Boeing to produce six aircraft a month, mainly new build F models for the US armed forces as well as variants for the international market.
The Chinook facility just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, now has two production lines rather than a single line. One line is dedicated to building CH-47Fs while the other is being dedicated to international variants.
The US Army's F model programme of record now totals 464 aircraft of which Boeing has now delivered 132. Boeing has also delivered all 61 MH-47Gs ordered by the US Special Operations Command. However, Caret said the company was awaiting a contract to deliver a further eight MH-47Gs.
'It will be the first time the special ops community will get new airframes with all the unique features that they need to run that mission,' Caret stated.
Looking to the international market Caret said that Boeing believed there were a number of opportunities to interest countries in the CH-47F or a derivative. She said that she expected to see Australia order seven aircraft under a foreign military sales case by the end of the year, while India was also showing strong interest in the aircraft.
Caret said the Canadian Chinook programme will see the first aircraft go into production this summer.
'It really is the Chinook of the future and we are on contract to deliver 15 aircraft... It offers all the capabilities and technology that many of our customers desire,' she added.
The company is also still operating under the expectation that it will deliver 14 Chinook HC6 to the UK. Boeing is currently working under a time and a material contract from the Ministry of Defence to complete design work on the aircraft, which will differ from standard CH-47Fs in its avionics suite.
The contract covers the design work and also the placing of orders for long-lead items. Caret said that despite budget issues in the UK, expectation was still to load the production line with the UK aircraft in early 2012 once the contract for 12 +2 aircraft is finalised.
Boeing also believes there is likely to be interest internationally in the MH-47G configuration. Caret believes the capabilities of the G model are 'highly desirable' and expects interest in the aircraft to increase.
Darren Lake, Philadelphia _________________ R22 2.6 h/r wanting more, a hell of a lot more
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