Boeing will provide the Air Force’s new combat search and rescue aircraft, announced Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne late Thursday. Boeing’s entrant in the CSAR-X competition is a variation of its combat-proven CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The Air Force plans to purchase 141 HH-47 aircraft to replace its fleet of HH-60 Pave Hawks. Air Combat Command, the CSAR mission owner, expects to achieve initial operational capability with its first 10 HH-47s by the end of 2012.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.