Boeing Co.'s HH-47 helicopter has been selected by the U.S. Air Force as the winner of the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) program competition.
The initial contract award is for $712 million; however, the complete program may be worth as much as $10 billion. Delivery of the first 10 aircraft is slated for 2012.
The CSAR program calls for initial operational capability of the HH-47 aircraft in 2012. Boeing will build 141 production aircraft and four test aircraft at its Rotorcraft Systems manufacturing facility in Ridley Park, Pa.
CSAR-X is a U.S. Air Force initiative to procure more capable and survivable aircraft able to recover isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory. The new helicopters will have a range of 275 nautical miles and a speed of at least 135 knots. The choppers can hover above a rescue site for five minutes.