Canada takes delivery of first CH-147F Chinook helicopter

OTTAWA, Ontario, 1 July 2013. The Minister of National Defence in Canada welcomed the delivery of the Canadian Armed Forces’ first new CH-147F Chinook helicopter.

"The Canadian Chinook F-model--designed especially for Canada's demanding operational and environmental requirements--will provide increased mobility and flexibility to the Royal Canadian Air Force," declares Associate Minister of National Defence Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Q.C.

"As initial crew training progresses, these new and much-improved Chinooks will certainly enhance the ability of the Canadian Armed Forces to conduct military operations wherever we are called to do so, including the rapid response to emergencies across Canada," adds Minister of National Defence Honourable Peter MacKay.

The CH-147F Chinook advanced, multi-mission, medium- to heavy-lift helicopter’s primary mission is the transport of equipment and personnel during domestic and deployed operations, but it also provides a vital capability to respond to humanitarian emergencies such as fire, floods, and earthquakes. The Canadian Chinooks have been modified to meet requirements for operating in Canada, including the installation of long-range fuel tanks which allow it to fly twice as far as previous models. This dramatically increased range is particularly important for missions in Canada's vast northern regions.

They are also equipped with a state-of-the-art electrical system, advanced radar and laser warning systems, three defensive machine guns, and a laser-based active missile counter-measure system to defeat anti-aircraft missiles. This equipment will allow the Canadian Chinooks to be employed more effectively in a wider range of threat environments, while increasing the crews' safety and chances of mission success.

"The new CH-147F represents the most modern and advanced evolution of a helicopter design that has proven itself in military operations for many years," says Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force. "Our six older D-model Chinooks saved many Canadian and allied lives in Afghanistan by reducing the exposure to deadly IEDs on the ground. These impressive new helicopters will also be a valuable addition to Canada's tactical transport capability for many years to come."

The total estimated cost for acquisition and in-service support for the Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopter Project is CAN $5 billion. It consists of the CAN $2.3 billion acquisition cost and a CAN $2.7 billion 20-year in-service support program. This procurement project remains both on time and within budget since the contract was signed with Boeing in 2009. These amounts do not include personnel, operating, and maintenance costs.

As part of the Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopter Program, Boeing has committed to providing Industrial and Regional Benefits equal to $1.25 billion (U.S.), which will ensure significant benefits for Canadian industry from this procurement. Boeing is currently on track to meet its commitments.

The entire fleet of 15 Canadian CH-147F Chinooks will be delivered over the course of the next year. 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario, has been re-established as the home for this new fleet and is expected to employ approximately 400 military personnel by 2016.

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