Boeing [BA] delivered the first of 15 new CH-147F Chinook helicopters to the Royal Canadian Air Force on June 21, making Canada the operator of one of the most capable Chinook variants delivered to the global market, company officials said.

The aircraft’s features include a modernized airframe with a long-range fuel system, upgraded electrical system, fully integrated Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit, and Digital Automatic Flight Control System. The aircraft also has improved survivability features including a Directional Infrared Countermeasures system. 

“Since receiving the contract in 2009, Boeing has executed the program on or ahead of schedule for every major milestone, including first flight and now the delivery of the first aircraft,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president, Cargo Helicopters.

The first CH-147F was accepted by the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, and will be followed by six additional aircraft over the remainder of 2013.

The Canadian government awarded Boeing a contract with a potential value of $1 billion for 15 Medium-to-Heavy-Lift Helicopters (MHLH) and in-service support in June 2009; all deliveries are scheduled to be completed by June 201.

In July 2012, the program was ahead of schedule making its first flight June 24,2012.

Boeing will provide in-service support to the MHLH fleet for the next 20 years under a Performance-Based Logistics contract. The company has already awarded six contracts to Canadian suppliers for services under the program. 

“Canadian industry will play a key role in our support for MHLH, building on what is already an incredibly successful partnership,” said Raymond Haddad, Boeing director of Chinook Rotorcraft Support.

Boeing incorporates Canadian firms to support the new Chinook rotorcraft, announcing the first work packages for suppliers L-3 Communications MAS [LLL] in Quebec, for technical publications, Raytheon [RTN] Canada Limited, in Calgary for supply chain support, and L-3 Electronic Systems, Nova Scotia, for logistics support analysis. In July, General Dynamics Canada [GD] was selected for maintenance training suite/contractor maintenance support.