Thu, Aug 25, 2011
Royal Air Force To Receive Helicopters Starting In 2013
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded a $1.64 billion
contract to Boeing to provide 14 new CH-47 Chinook helicopters and
associated support for the first five years to the Royal Air Force
(RAF). The new-build CH-47 Mark (Mk)-6 Chinooks are part of the
MOD's Strategic Helicopter Vision to modernize its helicopter force
structure, and will expand the RAF fleet to 60 Chinooks.
"From the Falkland Islands to Iraq and
Afghanistan, the RAF has operated Chinooks magnificently for many
years in the most demanding environments," said UK Secretary of
State for Defence Liam Fox. "These additional helicopters will
significantly enhance our existing heavy-lift helicopter
capability. This fleet will support our frontline troops in current
and future operations for decades to come."
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton echoed
Fox, saying, "Chinook is an exceptionally capable helicopter that,
in the hands of the very skillful RAF crews, has proved itself time
and again in many operational theaters across the globe and is the
backbone of the Royal Air Force's helicopter fleet."
The new aircraft will be produced at Boeing’s recently
renovated Ridley Township facility near Philadelphia and are
scheduled for delivery from 2013 through 2015. "The Boeing Company
has a long-standing and growing relationship with the United
Kingdom, its military and its aerospace industry, and we are
especially honored by the confidence the RAF has shown in the
Chinook," said Mike Kurth, vice president and managing director,
Boeing Defence UK Ltd. "We feel a special kinship with the RAF
crews because our employees are working shoulder-to-shoulder with
them to deliver capability to the frontline."
The CH-47 Mk-6 Chinook has a new, machined monolithic airframe with
UK-specific avionics, forward-looking infrared radar, a rescue
hoist, aircraft defensive systems, and interoperable communication
and navigation equipment. The new helicopters will be compatible
with the existing UK Chinook fleet.
"The performance of the Chinook in Afghanistan and Iraq, and in
humanitarian efforts around the world, demonstrates its unique
ability to meet the diverse mission requirements of the RAF," said
Leanne Caret, Boeing vice president, H-47 Programs. "We are
dedicated to continuing to deliver the advanced capabilities that
the UK demands."
The RAF has operated Chinooks for more than 30 years in every major
NATO engagement and on virtually every continent.
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