ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's procurement and military officials said they expect the first deliveries of the CH-47F heavy transport helicopters soon.

One procurement official said that the platform made its maiden flight recently at Boeing’s Philadelphia facilities.

"After further test flights we'll start receiving the first CH-47Fs, which should be later this year," he said.

A military official confirmed that the helicopters, also known as the "Chinook," would be part of the army’s operational planning later this year.

He aid the first five deliveries will go to the army and the sixth to the Turkish General Staff command. Others, including one VIP modification for the presidential office, will be used by the Turkish Special Forces.

Last year Turkey's top procurement panel, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, decided to place an order for five CH-47F helicopters in a follow-on order to a previous deal involving six platforms.

In 2009, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Pentagon office that coordinates weapons sales, notified Congress of the CH-47F sale to Turkey.

Developed in the 1960s, the Chinooks have been exported to Australia, Britain, Canada, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Burak Ege Bekdil is the Turkey correspondent for Defense News.

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