1310 Flight Chinook aircraft have been conducting exercises with a Malian based Estonian Army detachment, say the RAF.

The Chinook helicopter detachment has been conducting an air mobility exercise with the Estonian Army Force Protection platoon that is based at Gao airfield and provides part of the guard force for the airfield, according to a release.

“The exercise gave the Estonians the opportunity to board and deplane from the Chinook in operational conditions and also experience a short flight in the aircraft.”

Welcoming the opportunity, the Estonian platoon commander said: “We aim to train as we would fight so this is an excellent opportunity to practice what we could be called upon to do.”

The Chinooks are in Mali with the primary purpose of transporting French personnel to the forward operating bases as the French military conduct a changeover of troops.

In addition, the heavy lift helicopters have been transporting supplies and equipment.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Slightly off thread, but on a helicopter theme, the US parent part of Bristow has gone into Chapter 11. It has an epic debt. Overseas sections, like the UK SAR contract are safe for now. It (UK SAR) is very profitable, unlike the oil contracts. The oilmen strike a harder bargain than UK politicians/officials.
Off thread again, did Jordan sell the EC-135 helicopters (12?) that it wanted to dispose of ?Might be a cheap way of replacing the last UK Gazelles.


Also known as the 635, same helicopter.


I agree they would be a good option for gazelles but IMO we’d do better buying wildcats to replace them more multi role the better.

John Clark

The AAC could buy Lakotas to replace the Gazelle, straight from US army block buys on a govenment to govenment buy and pay £6+ million (estimated) a piece. Or …. we could pay an Italian company to build more Wildcats at £25 million a piece….. Hmmm, £25 mil or £6 mil, tough choice, guess it depends what ‘non executive £££ position’ you are offered when you leave politics… I know what I would do if I was in charge of the defence budget and it wouldn’t be to prop up Companies, I would make it my mission to procure the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

“Hmmm, £25 mil or £6 mil, tough choice, guess it depends what ‘non executive £££ position’ you are offered when you leave politics…”

Many of our brass do the same. One went to Westland before the contract for the Wildcat’s was given I believe.

John Clark

Most of them are utterly self serving in my opinion.

I still scratch my head and wonder what the army are really doing with the Wildcats forced on them.

As for using them as ‘scouts’, what a laugh, you fly around and wait to get shot at more like, while you peep out the window…..

Very expensive 4 seat taxis…..


Q1 simple answer yes in return for Marine patrol aircraft covering our area of interest.
Q2 yes works for that plan too.
Q3 yes pretty sure your right.
Just the right amount of questions


The French need to buy some of their own hvy lift helos. Not a huge investment for something that will give them a major operational advantage.

Mr Bell

Shush Dan. Don’t tell the French. I kinda like the fact that whenever they need heavy airlift they ask us or the Yanks


The problem the French have is that EADS/Airbus don’t build a heavy lift helicopter. They would have to buy either the CH53 Stallion or the CH47 Chinook, both of which are American. The French Army want the Chinook, they have seen how versatile it is, especially where it can operate in pretty much any environment. The French Government bulk at the idea of buying anything from the US, so unless there is a change of mindset, they will have to keep asking us, the Dutch, Spanish or Italians for Chinook support. The World of Chinook is spreading with additional European… Read more »