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AgustaWestland, October 02, 2014 - AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the Italian Army has taken delivery of its first two ICH-47F Chinook helicopters during an official ceremony held at Vergiate plant (Italy) today. The ceremony was attended by the Italian Army Chief of Staff Gen. Claudio Graziano, the Director of ARMAEREO Lt. General Domenico Esposito and representatives from the industry.
The start of deliveries set a major milestone in the strategic partnership between the Company and the Service, providing a significant contribution to the modernisation of the Italian Army helicopter fleet giving the customer further enhanced capabilities.
The overall Italian Army’s ICH-47F programme is based on an order for 16 units. The contract also includes a five year logistic support service. Deliveries of all aircraft will be completed in 2017. The ICH-47Fs will be operated by the Italian Army Aviation 1st Regiment "Antares" based in Viterbo and they will replace the CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973.
The ICH-47F customised version incorporates a secure communications system, self-protection system and advanced datalink system. This new ICH-47F Chinook variant has a Maximum All Up Weight (MAUW) of 23 tons, is equipped with two Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines giving it excellent “hot and high” capability and is suitable for all weather operations.
The primary tactical mission of the ICH-47F aircraft is to provide air transportation for equipment and troops. Cargo can be carried internally and externally using the aircraft's cargo hook system. The helicopter's payload, long range and high cruise speed make it a unique asset to meet the Italian Army's needs and can additionally perform special support functions, disaster relief and firefighting roles.
Under to a Joint Industrial Agreement with The Boeing Company, AgustaWestland is prime contractor for the Italian ICH-47F programme, with responsibility for systems integration, final assembly and aircraft delivery to the Italian Army.
In addition AgustaWestland is also being qualified by Boeing to produce the entire drive systems. Boeing builds the fuselage in its rotorcraft facility in Ridley Park, Pa. Final assembly is carried out at AgustaWestland's Vergiate plant in Northern Italy. The Joint Industrial Agreement between AgustaWestland and Boeing also includes a licensing arrangement that enables AgustaWestland to market, sell and produce these “Chinooks” for other countries.