Boeing aims to sell new Chinooks in Middle East

Boeing is in talks with Egypt, KSA and UAE to update their Chinook fleets with the helicopter’s redesigned version, Rick Lemaster, Boeing’s Senior Regional Director for Middle East, told Defensehere in an interview.

Developed by Boeing in the 1960s, the CH-47 Chinook saw service in more than 20 countries. Iran and Libya were among the first countries in the Middle East to acquire the Chinook in 1970s. Egypt followed suit in 1981.

Lemaster said the new configuration of CH-47 Chinook helicopters can carry more fuel and are able to go to longer range missions. He added the new Chinook “has a long probe that allows it to be refueled from C-130 aircraft.”

Lemaster explained that thanks to their longer range the redesigned Chinooks will be “handy to go in places where your roads might have been compromised, [it is] safe for an earthquake or if you've had other damage and you need to then fly over top."

Lemaster pointed out that many countries in the Middle East have Chinooks and they are in talks with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE about updating their fleets.

In the aftermath of the much-hailed arms deal between United States and Saudi Arabia during the Trump administration, Boeing was awarded a contract worth $25.7 million to build Chinook CH-47F helicopters for the Saudi forces in 2018. With their delivery, Saudi Arabia received its first Chinook helicopters in 2022 .

Boeing was awarded another contract worth $426 million in early 2023 for the replacement of Egypt’s older Chinook CH-47D’s with the updated CH-47F model.

Boeing aims to sell new Chinooks in Middle East

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