Congress has been notified of the possible sale of six Chinook helicopters to Canada for operations in Afghanistan.


Notice of the possible sale of the CH-47D helicopters, along with associated equipment and services, was issued April 23 by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The deal would be handled as a Foreign Military Sale.


Canada has requested six CH-47D Chinooks, along with spare engines, machineguns, night vision systems, communications and navigation gear and spare parts. It is also requesting contractor technical and logistics services be provided.


The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $375 million (U.S.), according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.


The proposed sale would include 12 T55-GA-714A Turbine engines, four M240H Machine Guns, 30 AN/AVS-6/7(V)1 Aviation Night Vision Imaging Systems, and two spare T-55-GA-714A Turbine engines, mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, special tools and test equipment, publications and technical data, site survey, Quality Assurance Team support, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support.


The prime contractors would be The Boeing Company in Ridley Park, PA; Honeywell, Inc. in Phoenix, AZ; and FN Enterprise in Lubbock, TX, according to the notice.


The D model Chinooks will be an interim measure until the Canadian Forces can take delivery of the first of 16 Chinook F models. That, however, is not expected to take place until 2010 or 2011.


Negotiations for that sale are still ongoing between Boeing and the Canadian government. Canada has earmarked two billion Canadian dollars ($1.76 billion) for the program to buy the helicopters plus another 2.7 billion Canadian dollars for in-service support for the helicopters over a 20-year period.


Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier has said the helicopters are essential for missions such as in Afghanistan where large amounts of equipment are needed to be lifted in hot and mountainous terrain. The Canadian Forces also sees the Chinook as ideal for roles in domestic emergencies.


The Canadian military had operated Chinooks until the early 1990s but those were sold to the Netherlands to save costs.



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