Chinook Block II helicopter program moves to final assembly

PHILADELPHIA. Boeing and U.S. Army officials report that the CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopter program has passed a major milestone with the loading of the first engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) helicopter into final assembly on June 27.

The Block II program -- awarded to Boeing in July 2017 for the next-generation Chinook for the U.S. Army conventional and Special Operations Forces -- incorporates several aircraft upgrades to increase lift capability, an upgraded fuselage, new fuel system, and new drive train. These updates greatly increase the commonality between U.S. Army and allied fleets, thus reducing maintenance costs.

Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Boeing Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager, says that the Block II upgrades are expected to help keep Chinooks in operation for the U.S. Army into the 2060s.

The first Block II aircraft is targeted for completion in 2019, with flight testing scheduled shortly thereafter and first delivery expected in 2023.