Farnborough Air Show

Canucks hope Chinook will do

 - November 27, 2006, 10:48 AM

The Canadian government would like to acquire 16 more military helicopters for troop and cargo transport, but has so far determined that only the Boeing CH-47 Chinook meets its requirements. Other potential bidders have 30 days to show they have an aircraft that could meet these requirements. Deliveries of the aircraft are to begin within 36 months of contract signing.

Mike “TK” Tkach, senior vice president, Boeing Rotorcraft Division, met with Canadian officials yesterday here in Farnborough. Before his meeting, he said Canadian authorities are impressed with the big, tandem-rotor helicopter’s hot-and-high performance, as demonstrated in Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, the increased use of U.S. Army Chinooks in these harsh, sandy environments has strained the resources of some of Boeing’s suppliers. “The aircraft we see coming in for conditioning and upgrading are in a lot worse shape than we’ve seen before,” Tkach said. “Some of our suppliers had simply not anticipated the higher requirement for more replacement parts.”

Nevertheless, Tkach said he was confident that the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania CH-47 facility would have little difficulty building new Chinooks for Canada, which would be either -F or -G models. Boeing could deliver new aircraft within 30 months of contract signing.