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Boeing halts CH-47 assembly pending investigation

Boeing indefinitely ceased all assembly work today on the Philadelphia-based production line for the H-47 Chinook helicopter.

The “discovery of possible manufacturing irregularities in two aircraft” was blamed for the temporary production stoppage, Boeing says in a statement.

No further details about the cause of the incident or the extent or the timeline for re-starting production work.

Nor would Boeing comment on whether the shut down had any impact on H-47s delivered to US or foreign customers.


Boeing has notified its internal security office and the on-site US Defense Contracts Management Agency, which oversees the army’s contract.

A “thorough investigation” is required to determine the extent of the potential irregularities, says Boeing, adding that it will cooperate fully with the investigators.

The US Army has ordered hundreds of CH-47F and MH-47G Chinooks.

The HH-47 model is at the centre of an acquisition controversy.

Originally selected in November 2006 for the US Air Force’s combat search and rescue (CSAR-X) contract, repeated protests by the losing bidders have forced the USAF to re-open the competition.

A contract award for CSAR-X is now expected in the fourth quarter.

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