Morocco requests $134m purchase of CH-47D Chinooks

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Morocco has requested the purchase of three Boeing CH-47D Chinook transport helicopters, to build on its existing fleet of older C-model aircraft.

Announcing the request to Congress on 26 October, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the Foreign Military sale could be worth up to $134 million, with Boeing to be the main beneficiary.

In addition to covering the Honeywell T55-714A-powered aircraft, the deal would also include spare and repair parts and ground support equipment, it says.

"Morocco needs these helicopters to improve its capability to meet current and future needs for humanitarian missions," the DSCA says. A CH-47D deal would also "improve the security of a major non-NATO ally", it adds.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force has nine CH-47Cs, deliveries of which took place between 1979 and 1982, according to Flight's HeliCAS database. The service's current rotorcraft inventory totals around 140 aircraft, with this also including types produced by Agusta/Bell, Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter.

Morocco earlier this year also moved ahead with a purchase of 24 Beechcraft T-6C turboprop trainers, with these to prepare pilots for its future air force inventory of 24 Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds.

The North African nation also signed a deal with Italy's Alenia Aeronautica last year to acquire four C-27J Spartan tactical transports.