09 Nov 06. The Boeing Company’s (NYSE: BA – News) HH-47 helicopter has been selected by the U.S. Air Force as the winner of the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) program competition.
“The CSAR award is a vote of confidence by the Air Force in the ability of Boeing to provide them the rotorcraft they need for this very important mission,” said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. “Backed by our decades of experience in rotorcraft design, production and systems integration, the HH-47 will rapidly deploy versatile rescue capability to even the most challenging combat rescue situations.”
The CSAR program calls for initial operational capability of the HH-47 aircraft in 2012. Under the program, which is valued at up to $10 billion, Boeing will build 141 production aircraft and four test aircraft at its Rotorcraft Systems manufacturing facility in Ridley Park, Pa., also home to the MH-47G Special Operations and CH-47F Chinook programs.
“Boeing is delighted that the Air Force has selected the HH-47 for its new Combat Search and Rescue platform,” said Mike Tkach, vice president and general manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. “We believe our proposal provided the best combination of capability and cost.”
“We are ready to produce and deliver this outstanding aircraft to the Air Force, on-time and on-cost,” said Rick Lemaster, CSAR program manager. CSAR-X is a U.S. Air Force initiative to procure more capable and survivable aircraft able to recover isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory. The tandem rotor, heavy-lift, high-altitude HH-47 is based on the CH/MH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, with performance capabilities that have been widely demonstrated in the ongoing global war on terrorism and in numerous U.S. and international humanitarian relief operations.
The Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland, Bell Team had been hopeful of winning this with their GE-powered, EH101 helicopter based on the Presidential helicopter version being built at the moment, Sikorsky was another bidder.