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Toomey Pushing for Army to Explain Chinook Upgrade Delay

Impacts Delaware County workers that build Chinooks

June 29, 2020

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is pushing for more information from the Army regarding the delay of the upgrade for the Chinook, a twin-engine, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter.

Senator Toomey has filed an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require the Army to complete a report detailing the national security implications of delaying this upgrade.

In January 2017, the Army announced that it would begin upgrades of the Chinook - which would be done in part by workers in Delaware County. Just two years later, the Army moved to delay this upgrade, citing other modernization priorities. In last year's NDAA, Congress overruled the Army and allocated another $28 million to continue the Chinook upgrade project.

"The Chinook is the Army's only heavy-lift helicopter capable of moving troops and equipment," said Senator Toomey. "The prescribed upgrade for the Chinook is meant to ensure the reliable transport of vehicles and equipment for our soldiers in theater. While I understand the Army's need to modernize other aspects of its defense systems, it should not be done at the expense of troop readiness and response time."

In addition to supporting last year's NDAA, which continued funding for the Chinook upgrade, Senator Toomey detailed these concerns directly to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.