Italy Buying CH-47F Helicopters
Italy’s ARMAEREO procurement agency signed a EUR 900 million ($1.23 billion equivalent) contract to buy 16 CH-47 heavy-lift helicopters for the Italian Army, with an option for 4 more. These 16-20 “ICH-47Fs” will be operated by the Esercito’s 1st Regiment AVES “Antares” based in Viterbo, near Rome. They are expected to replace the existing CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973. While releases place the number of Antares CH-47Cs at 40, tallies of actual aircraft in service tend to range between 22-26 machines.
The new CH-47F heavy-lift helicopter offers a number of improvements over previous models, and is in service with or ordered by the USA, Canada, and the Netherlands; Australia has submitted a formal request, and is expected to sign a contract soon.
The prime contractor for Italy’s ICH-47Fs will be Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland, rather than Boeing…
Contracts and Key Events
As prime contractor for the Italian CH-47F, AgustaWestland will be responsible for the drive system, design and systems integration of Italian customization, and delivery to the Italian Army’s Antares regiment in Viterbo. Boeing Rotorcraft Systems will build the fuselage in Ridley Park, PA. Their industrial partnership includes a licensing arrangement that lets AgustaWestland market, sell and produce the Boeing CH-47F Chinook to Britain, other European countries, and “several countries in the Mediterranean region.”
June 24/13: Italy. The Italian Army’s 1st ICH-47F Chinook performs its 15-minute maiden flight at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant in Italy. Delivery of this 1st helicopter is scheduled for early 2014, with final deliveries in 2017. AgustaWestland.
May 13/09: Italy’s ARMAEREO procurement agency signs the EUR 900 million ($1.23 billion equivalent) contract for 16 ICH-47Fs, with an option for 4 more. AgustaWestland is the prime contractor, and Boeing the lead subcontractor. Delivery of the first aircraft is planned for 2013, with final deliveries in 2017.
As noted above, the new ICH-47Fs will replace Italy’s 40 CH-47Cs with the 1st Regiment, based in Viterbo. AgustaWestland release | Boeing release.
Contract: 16 ICH-47Fs (+4 options)
July 16/08: Boeing and Finmeccanica SpA subsidiary AgustaWestland sign an agreement that defines the terms for the joint manufacture of new CH-47F Chinook helicopters to replace earlier models used by the Italian Army. AgustaWestland has been Boeing’s European partner for other versions of the CH-47, and this new agreement continues and extends that relationship. As prime contractor for the Italian CH-47F, AgustaWestland will be responsible for design and systems integration, and for aircraft delivery to the Italian Army. Boeing Rotorcraft Systems will build the fuselage in Ridley Park, PA.
Orders are expected to follow, and not just from Italy. The agreement also includes a licensing arrangement that lets AgustaWestland to market, sell and produce the Boeing CH-47F Chinook to the United Kingdom, other European countries, and “several countries in the Mediterranean region.” Boeing release | AgustaWestland release.
Boeing – AW joint agreement
April 5/07: Boeing Corp. says it expects that Italy will buy 16-20 CH-47Fs, through a joint production agreement with Italian conglomerate Finmecccanica SpA. The deal has reportedly been in the works for a while, and Boeing said it expects the orders around 2008-2009.
Boeing spokesman Joseph LaMarca says that the expected Italian purchase will be a Direct Commercial Sale, with AgustaWestland as the prime contractor and Boeing as the lead subcontractor. In 2006, the 2 companies signed a new memorandum of understanding that lays out an industrial agreement for further Italian Chinook production. World Aeronautical Press Agency.