Boeing has celebrated the production of the 100th CH-47F Chinook helicopter built at the company’s Ridley Township facility on June 22.

“This is an incredible milestone,” said Leanne Caret, Boeing vice president, H-47 Programs. “More than 2,000 Boeing employees work on the Chinook program, and they all share in this exceptional accomplishment with the rest of the company and our partners, suppliers and customers. We are dedicated to delivering aircraft with advanced capability and the utmost quality to meet warfighters’ urgent needs.”

Since completing the first production model CH-47F Chinook in August 2006, Boeing has trained and equipped six U.S. Army units and is in the process of equipping the seventh. Four units have completed deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the helicopter logged nearly 50,000 flight hours and maintained an operational readiness rate of over 80 percent conducting air assault, transport and support operations.

“The CH-47F is proving its exceptional capabilities every day in combat operations,” said Army Col. Bob Marion, Project Manager for Cargo Helicopters. “The technological advantages and improvements in the CH-47F are powerful combat multipliers that save soldiers’ lives and support overall contingency operations in theater. I am extremely proud of our Cargo Team.”

To further meet the needs of Chinook customers around the world, Boeing is implementing a $130 million renovation that will enable the Ridley Township factory to gradually increase production levels from the current four aircraft per month to a new rate of six aircraft per month in 2012.

The CH-47F features a newly designed, modernized airframe, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit and Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS). The CAAS greatly improves aircrew situational awareness, and DAFCS provides dramatically improved flight-control capabilities through the entire flight envelope, significantly improved performance, and safety in the harshest of environments.

CAAS also incorporates an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data. Improved survivability features include the Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser systems.

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