The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), has taken possession of its first MH-47G Block II Chinook from Boeing, according to a company press release of September 1.
Colonel Phil Ryan, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOAC), accepted the aircraft. It will be assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), also known as the “Night Stalkers.“
Boeing also secured a $265 million contract for nine additional MH-47G Block II helicopters for Army Special Operations Aviation Command in July. This will allow USASOAC to completely equip the 160th SOAR(A)’s heavy-lift/long-range units. The regiment also operates MH-60 Black Hawks, MH-6 Little Birds, and MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAVs. Boeing is contracted to produce 23 more next-generation Chinooks.
“This delivery marks a major step for the Chinook program,” Andy Builta, vice president and H-47 program manager, said in a statement. “The new Chinook will give U.S. Special Operations Forces significantly more capability for extremely challenging missions and will enable them to conduct those missions on the future battlefield.”