The U.S. Army and Boeing have moved the first Block II CH-47F Chinook unit produced under an engineering and manufacturing development contract into the final assembly phase.
The helicopter is equipped with updated rotor blade, fuselage, fuel and drivetrain built to help increase the lift capacity and commonality between the Army and its allied forces, Boeing said Wednesday.
The Chicago-based defense and aerospace contractor was awarded a $276.6 million EMD contract in July of last year.
Chuck Dabundo, Boeing’s vice president for cargo helicopters and H-47 program manager, said Block II upgrades will help the Army keep the heavy-lift platform in operation through the 2060s.
The company aims to complete the first modernized Chinook by next year and deliver the helicopter to the service branch sometime in 2023.
The Army looks to upgrade more than 500 units with the Block II configuration.