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.