Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense awarded Boeing $39 million for finalization of four new-build MH-47G Chinook Block II special operations helicopters.
The contract was announced Friday by the Pentagon, which said "this action is required to satisfy an urgent need to sustain U.S. Special Operations Force heavy assault, rotary wing aircraft in light of increased SOF operational demands."
The Army has 69 MH-47G helicopters, which is a variant of the Chinooks for the special operations command.
Last July, Boeing received a $139.8 million contract for procurement of the four MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters to the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command. Boeing received a further $43 million contract in November for the four new Chinooks.
The majority of the work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa.
Defense fiscal 2018 procurement of $15.8 million and fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement Army funds of $23,220,427 were obligated at the time of the contract award.
Known as Night Stalkers, the U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment provides helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and special operations forces. The first Boeing MH-47G was delivered for the Night Stalkers in 2014.
Chinooks are used in heavy-lift missions that include transportation of troops, ammunition, vehicles, equipment, fuel and supplies, as well as civil and humanitarian relief missions.
The MH-47G ordered by Special Ops will have enhanced digital avionics and flight control systems, as well as a sturdier monolithic airframe.
Since it was first commissioned in 1962, the Chinook has undergone many upgrades through the years.
Chinooks serve the armed forces of 19 countries around the world, including Canada, Great Britain, South Korea and Australia, according to Boeing.