July 14 (UPI) -- Boeing has received a $27 million contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command for preparatory work on the production of Block 2 MH-47G Chinook special operations helicopters, the Department of Defense announced.
The conttract calls for incorporating new and existing stockpiles of government and contractor components to upgrade CH-47 ariframes to the MH-47G variant. The airframes are being modified under the auspices of the Thechnology Applications Program Office.
Most work for the contract will take place in Philadelphia, with $27 million in Fiscal 2017 procurement funds obligated upon the award.
The MH-47G is a special operations variant of the CH-47F Chinook helicopter. The CH-47F is a twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift transport helicopter used by the U.S. Army, as well as many NATO and other allied nations. Its primary mission is to transport troops and large payloads at high speed and long ranges.
It is capable of external sling-load operations, placing artillery, battlefield resupply, and air asault. The CH-47 series has been in use since its introduction in 1962 and has been upgraded and refurbished many times.
The MH-47G has been upgraded with digital avionics and flight control systems, a monolithic airframe instead of assembled sheet metal for greater strength and modifications for easier transportaion by cargo aircraft. It features other changes to make it better suited for air assault operations and can be refueled in mid-air for greater range.
The first model was delivered to Special Operations Command in 2014. It is currently used by the 160th "Nightstalker" Special Operations Aviation Regiment.