14 New Chinooks for the RAF

Date: 22-08-11 The MOD has signed a 1BN contract for 14 new Chinook helicopters, the new cabs will be known as the Mk.6 variant.

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox arrives at RAF Odiham The Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox arrived at RAF Odiham to make the announcement, he was also given a tour of one the bases existing Chinooks and spoke to crews who have recently returned from Afghanistan.

The contract signed with Boeing to supply fourteen new cabs will significantly enhance the mobility of frontline forces. RAF Odiham is already the home to the largest fleet in Europe, this new contract will increase the UK's overall number to 60.

The RAF will receive the first aircraft for initial trials and testing in 2013 and will enter service in May 2014. Delivery will complete by the end of 2015. Three cabs will be ready for operational deployment in early 2015 and all fourteen will be fully operational by early 2017.

Dr  liam fox crew from 18 and 27 Sqn In January 2010, under the Labour Government the Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth announced that the MOD would be purchasing 22 new Chinooks, however, a change in Government and the realisation that the defence budget would be significantly reduced through the SDSR meant that the MOD could only afford 14 new cabs. The new contract valued at 1BN includes development, manufacture and the first five years of support to the new Chinooks.

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