DURING A ceremony at AgustaWestland’s facility in Vergiate, Italy, on October 2, the first two Italian Army ICH-47F Chinook helicopters were formally handed over. The ceremony was attended by the Italian Army Chief of Staff, General Claudio Graziano, the Director of ARMAEREO Lt General Domenico Esposito and representatives from industry.
An agreement for joint production of the ICH-47F for AVES was signed between Boeing and AgustaWestland on July 16, 2008. This made AgustaWestland prime contractor for the Italian ICH-47F programme. A production contract was signed on May 13, 2009. The Italian Army order covers a total of 16 ICH-47Fs, plus a five-year logistic support service.
The first AVES helicopter made its maiden flight on June 24, 2013. Deliveries of all 16 aircraft will be completed in 2017. They will be operated by the 1st Regiment Antares’ based in Viterbo and replace the CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973. Alan Warnes