Posted by Courtney E. HowardTOWNSHIP, Pa., 22 Sept. 2011. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) officials opened its H-47 Chinook manufacturing facility in Township, Pa., during the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Army H-47 Chinook's first flight. Boeing management invested $130 million in the factory renovations, which are intended to enable increased Chinook production rates—from the current rate of four aircraft per month to six. Company engineers have delivered 143 CH-47F aircraft since the company won a multi-year U.S. Army contract in Aug. 2008. "This upgraded facility will allow Boeing to increase production and work toward securing a second CH-47F multi-year contract. Multi-year contracts enable double-digit percentage savings for the taxpayer, and allow industry to make long-term investments in people, facilities, and technology," explains Jean Chamberlin, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Ridley Township-based Mobility division.The CH-47F has completed nine deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. "The CH-47F is proving its exceptional capabilities every day in combat operations," says U.S. Army Col. Bob Marion, project manager for Cargo Helicopters. "The technological advantages and improvements in the CH-47F are powerful combat multipliers that save soldiers' lives and support overall contingency operations in theater. I am extremely proud of the Chinook team on this milestone 50-year achievement."The CH-47 Chinook's first flight--on Sept. 21, 1961--was followed by its first delivery to the U.S. Army in August 1962. In 1965, CH-47s entered combat when deployed with the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division to Vietnam.