The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of sixteen H-47 Chinook (Extended Range) helicopters to the UK for $3.5 billion.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today, the notice read:
“The Government of United Kingdom has requested a possible sale of sixteen (16) H-47 Chinook (Extended Range) helicopters; thirty-six (36) T-55-GA-714A engines (32 installed, 4 spares); forty-eight (48) embedded GPS inertial navigation units (32 installed, 16 spares); twenty (20) common missile warning systems (16 installed, 4 spares); twenty-two (22) radio-frequency countermeasures (16 installed, 6 spares); nineteen (19) multi-mode radars (16 installed, 3 spares); nineteen (19) electro-optical sensor systems (16 installed, 3 spares); forty (40) M-134D-T mini guns, plus mounts and tools (32 installed, 8 spares); and forty (40) M240H machine guns, plus mounts and tools (32 installed, 8 spares).”
The notice also states that the sale includes communications equipment; navigation equipment; aircraft survivability equipment; initial training equipment and services; synthetic training equipment; support package including spares and repair parts; special tools and test equipment; aviation ground support equipment; safety and air worthiness certification; technical support; maintenance support; technical and aircrew publications; mission planning system equipment and support; and, project management and governance; U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services; and other related elements of support.
The notice also states:
“The United Kingdom is a close NATO ally and an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues. The proposed sale will enhance U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing the United Kingdom’s capabilities to provide national defense and contribute to NATO and coalition operations.
The proposed sale will improve the United Kingdom’s ability to meet current and future threats by providing a heavy lift rotary wing capability able to execute missions in extreme environments across a full range of military operations. The United Kingdom will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.”
This order is likely to replace aging aircraft in the UK fleet rather than an expansion of the fleet, we’re awaiting comment from the MoD and this article will be updated soon.