The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has contracted Boeing to build 14 H-47 Extended Range (ER)-variant Chinook
The UK is to receive 14 new H-47 Extended Range Chinook helicopters that are analogous with the US MH-47G special operations variant. (Boeing)
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract modification announced on 22 June is valued at USD580.6 million, and exercises an already existing delivery order. The award will run through to July 2026.
News of the award comes just over a month after the UK government announced that it was ordering the H-47 (ER) Chinook to partially replace older machines at the same time as providing a bespoke special operations forces (SOF) capability.
“From assisting emergency repairs to UK flood defences, providing vital logistics support during Covid-19, to its warfighting role on Afghan battlefields, the Chinook has been the workhorse of the armed forces for over 40 years,” Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in early May. “The cutting-edge H-47 (ER) will be at the forefront of our specialist requirements in dealing with threats and logistic support.”
Valued at GBP1.4 billion (USD2 billion), the FMS deal will see deliveries to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) begin in 2026 and run through to 2031. Although not officially disclosed at the time, it was later reported that these new helicopters will be Block 2 versions of the MH-47G that is currently only fielded by USSOCOM, fitted with some UK-specific avionics for commonality with the existing Chinook HC5/6/6A fleets.