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Boeing plant serves billion-dollar contracts

The Ridley Township company said last week it will deliver the first of the new Chinook helicopters to the UK's Air Force by year's end.

 U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter. Credit:  Wiki Commons U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter. Credit: Wiki Commons

Military-machines maker Boeing, whose local plant is based in Delaware County, signed two five-year contracts in June with the United States military worth more than $10 billion.

The first contract, valued at about $4 billion, is with the U.S. Army for about 177 of the latest model Chinook — double-rotor, heavy-lift cargo helicopters.

The company said last week it will deliver the first of the new Chinook helicopters to the UK's Air Force by year's end.

The second, worth an estimated $6.5 billion, is for 99 V-22 Osprey aircrafts for the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps. The quieter vehicle takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies horizontally like an airplane. This contract is part of a 50/50 agreement with Bell helicopters in Texas.

While the contracts are expected to save upward of $800 million in government and taxpayer dollars, the Ridley Township facility, which employs about 6,200, recently announced it was laying off 41 workers at the site. Spokesman Andrew Lee says the company doesn’t anticipate new hires to execute the new contracts.

 
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