Boeing [BA] recently said it has received a $1.15 billion contract from the Canadian government for 15 new CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.

Under the contract, Boeing will match Canada’s purchase price by executing contracts and investments of equal value with Canadian industry.

In March, Canada issued Boeing a request for proposal to acquire Chinook helicopters, and yesterday’s announcement is the outcome (Defense Daily, Aug. 11, 2008).

Designated the CH-147 in Canada, the Chinooks have been contracted to meet Canada’s Medium-to-Heavy Lift Helicopter program requirements.

The helicopters will be produced at the Boeing Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Township, Pa., with deliveries expected to occur between 2013 and 2014.

“We’re going to give them a mission-equipped aircraft,” Hal Klopper, a Boeing spokesman, told sister publication Defense Daily. “When it leaves, it will be ready for what they want it to do.”

The CH-147 will be modified to meet Canada’s operational environment. It will be powered by two 4,733-horsepower Honeywell [HON] engines and able to transport more than 21,000 pounds (9,525 kg) of cargo.

Speaking at an event hosted by the ministries of Defence and Industry at the I.M.P. Aerospace facility in Halifax, Jack Dougherty, Boeing vice president, H-47 Programs, said, “Boeing is extremely pleased that Canada has selected the CH-147 Chinook, the world’s leading tandem-rotor helicopter, to modernize its defense forces’ airlift fleet.

“This is also great news for Canadian troops,” Dougherty said. “They are a national treasure, because they not only place themselves in defense of Canada, but also are the heroes who are called on in every manner of civil emergency.”

Canada’s Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway the Hon. Peter MacKay said: “This contract is key in ensuring the Canadian Forces are a first-class, modern, flexible force capable of defending Canada and the Canadian interest for years to come. This helicopter will give Canada’s military a robust capability with the ability to operate in remote and isolated areas, and increase their capacity to respond to disasters both at home and abroad.”

In line with Canada’s Industrial & Regional Benefits policy, Boeing will match every dollar spent by the Canadian government in acquiring its CH-147 fleet by partnering with and issuing contracts to companies in Canada.

“Boeing does make a significant contribution to the Canadian economy by generating approximately $1 billion in business annually, including through Canadian suppliers supporting CH-47 and V-22 rotorcraft, F/A-18 and F-15 fighter aircraft P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter and aircraft trainers, as well as all Boeing commercial aircraft models,” said Amy Horton, a Boeing spokeswoman. “Canada represents one of Boeing’s largest international supplier bases with more than 200 key suppliers.”

Yesterday, Boeing announced work packages and investments with Atlantic region partners, she said. Among the partners are Apex Industries, H-47 sheet metal and other assemblies, Heli-One Composites–H-47 rain shields–and IMP Aerospace–H-47 platform and triple doors; forward pylons–as well as a visual analytics research project with Dalhousie University.

“We will in the coming weeks announce work packages and investments for other regions in Canada tied to this contract and the related Industrial and Regional Benefits program,” Horton said. “Boeing has already signed contracts valued at more than half of the $1.15 billion commitment and these are being implemented with firms and institutions across Canada. We continue to identify opportunities to fulfill the remainder of the total commitment. Boeing has committed to matching the $1.15 billion Canadian investment in acquiring its fleet of Chinooks. Boeing could provide additional benefits in excess of $2 billion over 20 years for potential in-service support of the CH-47 fleet.”

The performance-based in-service support could include such things as aircraft maintenance training systems and services, engineering support, supply chain management, and other expertise.

Klopper said, “The Chinook is the ideal aircraft to meet their needs, in addition to the aircraft that they’re flying now that they bought from the U.S. Army, they’re going to continue to upgrade and maintain a modern fleet that will serve them for whatever purposes they’re faced with…it gives them the flexibility to do their job well.”

Last year Canada bought six used CH-47Ds from the Army to address immediate needs after extending its military mission in Afghanistan until 2011.

Mark Kronenberg, vice president of International Business Development for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, said: “Boeing seeks to partner with the very best of industry and, as a result, we continue to make a significant commitment to Canadian industry.”