Boeing Wins HH-47 Contract For USAF CSAR Helicopters
The United States Air Force (USAF) has selected the conventional HH-47 helicopter from Boeing to fulfill the requirements of its CSAR-X competition. The tandem rotor design is derived from the long serving core CH-47 Chinook family of rotorcraft first built for the United States Army, as well as the Navy and Marine Corps CH-46 SeaKnight, a close cousin.
According to a Boeing statement, "CSAR-X is a U.S. Air Force initiative to procure more capable and survivable aircraft able to recover isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory." In other words, a vertical lift combat search and rescue (CSAR) asset with the range, self-defense capability and ruggedness to survive going into enemy territory to rescue US and allied personnel.
The deal could be worth up to $10 billion says Boeing. Initial operational capability (IOC) is scheduled for 2012 and the production run may number as high as 141 aircraft, with 4 test helicopters included separately in the program.
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