AirAmericasDOD ContractsEurope

UK Buys 14 Chinook Extended Range Helicopters From US

The British government has signed a contract to procure 14 CH-47F Chinook extended-range military helicopters from the US.

The acquisition is part of the UK’s ongoing efforts to expand its heavy-lift capability and sustain operability in “challenging environments” such as deserts and the Arctic.

In addition to doubling the armed forces’ range in rotorcraft-based missions, the upcoming fleet will integrate air-to-air refueling functionality, upgraded airframes, and advanced digital cockpits to boost the “stability and survivability” of warfighters.

Each of the aircraft will have a maximum speed of 300 kilometers (190 miles) per hour and capacity for either 55 troops or up to 10,000 kilograms (22,000 pounds) of payload.

‘Significant Milestone’

According to the British defense agency, negotiations between the UK military procurement arm Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and the US government have reduced the procurement’s cost by over 300 million pounds ($382 million).

Furthermore, the foreign military sale will see local British companies produce critical elements related to the manufacturing and maintenance of the future Chinooks.

This approach is expected to enhance the domestic industry by creating jobs in aircraft avionics and electric power areas while providing approximately 151 million pounds ($192 million) into the economy.

CH-47F Chinook helicopter, Afghanistan
US Army CH-47F Chinook. Image: US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook

“Procuring these Chinook helicopters will mark a significant milestone in our efforts to modernise and enhance the agility of the UK Armed Forces, cementing our ability to respond at pace to situations and threats across the globe,” UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated.

“The Chinook is one of our most iconic aircraft, having been operated in every major conflict since the Falklands War. Delivering on this deal not only enhances our capability, but will boost UK industry and skills.”

British Chinooks

The UK is one of the longest CH-47 users aside from the US Army. The helicopter was first introduced to the British military service in the 1980s as a replacement for the Belvedere and Wessex helicopters.

In 2018, the Pentagon approved the foreign military sale of 16 modernized Chinooks for the UK, with each aircraft having a service life through the 2040s.

Related Articles

Back to top button