Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Boeing has delivered the first of two dozen MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters to Army Special Operations Command, the company announced Tuesday.
The company signed a $265 million contract in July to to build upgraded Chinook aircraft for SOCOM.
Under the current iteration of the contract, Boeing will build a total of 24 aircraft for a total potential value of $602.2 million.
"This delivery marks a major step for the Chinook program," Andy Builta, Boeing vice president and H-47 program manager, said in a statement. "The new Chinook will give U.S. Special Operations Forces significantly more capability for extremely challenging missions and will enable them to conduct those missions on the future battlefield."
The Block II version of the Chinook includes newly designed rotorblades, changes to the drive system and improvements like non-segmented fuel cells.
The aircraft also has increased range capability and load capacity.