First CH-147F Chinook now in Canada
July 5, 2013, Ottawa - The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Q.C., Associate Minister of National Defence responsible for military procurement and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, welcomed the delivery of the Canadian Armed Forces’ first new CH-147F Chinook helicopter at a ceremony at the Canada Reception Centre last week.
By Carey Fredericks
“The delivery of the new Chinook today clearly demonstrates our government’s commitment to provide our Canadian Armed Forces with the right equipment to do the many challenging jobs we ask of them,” declared Minister Findlay. “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.”
“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,” said Minister MacKay.
The CH-147F Chinook is an advanced, multi-mission, medium to heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary mission is the transport of equipment and personnel during both domestic and deployed operations, but it also provides a vital capability to respond to humanitarian emergencies such as fire, floods, and earthquakes. These 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,” said 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 US $1.25 billion, 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, located 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.