The Chinook was initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the 1960s. It remains in production and frontline service, with over 1,200 built to date. The helicopter has been sold to 16 nations with the U.S. Army and the Royal Air Force (see Boeing Chinook being its largest users. Along with the Apache AH-64 it is one of the most recognisable helicopters in the world. It has served in many conflicts including Vietnam, Iran, The Falklands, The Gulf War, The Iraq War and Afghanistan. It has also filled a humanitarion role providing relief for the victims of the 2004 Tsunami and the Kashmiri Earthquake of 2005. In 2011 three Chinooks had protective lead plating installed in their floor which protected the pilots as they helped the cooling operation at the fukushima nuclear power plant. Although it has a distinguished history of delivering troops, artillary and supplies in the field, it is also synonymous with front line med-evac situaions and the Chinook CH-47 is close to the hearts of many injured service men and women, and their families.