Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Boeing Co.-Philadelphia has received a $222.5 million modification to an existing contract for the delivery of eight CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the Royal Saudi Land Forces.
The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that the CH-47Fs to be delivered are new builds, as opposed to refurbished ones, with production taking place in Ridley Township, Penn. Production is expected to be completed by July 30, 2021.
The Royal Saudi Land Forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia deploy a variety of U.S.-built helicopters, including UH-60 Black Hawk medium-lift transport aircraft, AH-64 Apache gunships and the CH-47, among others. Saudi Arabia is the largest recipient of U.S. arms sales in the world.
The State Department approved the sale of 48 CH-47F Chinooks and associated equipment in a deal worth an estimated $3.5 billion last year.
The CH-47F Chinook is a twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter used by the U.S. Army, Saudi Arabia, and many other allied nations. Its primary role is the transportation of troops and large payloads at high speed and long ranges in battlefield conditions.
The helicopter is capable of external sling-load operations such as placing artillery, battlefield resupply and air assault missions. The Chinook series has seen service since its introduction in 1962, and has been upgraded and refurbished many times.