UK to enhance RAF fleet with 14 New CH-47F Chinook Block II helicopters

By Defence Industry Europe

The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence is poised to sign an agreement with the United States for the acquisition of 14 CH-47F Chinook Block II heavy transport helicopters, manufactured by aerospace giant Boeing.

 

The ministry has announced that deliveries of the helicopters to the Royal Air Force are expected to begin in 2027. While the contract has yet to be signed, British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps disclosed that negotiations with the U.S. have led to a reduction in the overall program cost by GBP 300 million. The future contract’s value remains undisclosed, but the UK Ministry of Defence’s 2021 estimates placed the procurement cost at GBP 1.4 billion.

 

 

Grant Shapps highlighted the Chinook’s pivotal role in the UK’s military operations, noting its iconic status and its involvement in major conflicts since the Falklands War. The procurement deal is touted not only to bolster military capability but also to support the growth of the UK’s industry and skills. According to the MoD, the agreement is expected to inject £151 million into the UK economy, although specific details have not been provided.

 

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Currently, the RAF operates 57 Chinooks, the oldest of which have been in service for 43 years. The acquisition of new helicopters of this type will enable the retirement of older models, with a projected fleet of 51 CH-47s remaining in RAF service.

 

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