A contract worth £1.4 billion has been agreed for the purchase of 14 new Chinook aircraft over the next 10 years.
UPDATE – This article has been corrected and the ‘Chinook’ specifcations section has been removed, a user informed us via e-mail that the specifications for the aircraft are for a different variant.
The helicopter can operate in a diverse range of environments, from the desert to the arctic, and transport up to 55 personnel or ten tonnes of cargo say the Royal Air Force in a news release.
With a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the new H-47(ER) aircraft will have a range of new capabilities, including:
- advanced digital cockpit
- modernised airframe to increase stability and improve survivability
- digital automatic flight control system to allow pilots to hover in areas of limited visibility
The 14 aircraft will be purchased from the US via a Foreign Military Sales agreement and includes development and manufacture over the next decade.
Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2026. The new helicopters will be based at RAF Odiham, the home of the Chinook fleet.
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, was quoted as saying:
“From assisting emergency repairs to UK flood defences, providing vital logistics support during COVID-19 to its war-fighting role on Afghan battlefields, the Chinook has been the workhorse of the Armed Forces for over 40 years. The cutting edge H-47 (ER) will be at the forefront of our specialist requirements in dealing with threats and logistic support. Our £1.4 billion investment will mean we will be one of very few air forces with this capability.”