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UK finalises Chinook heavy-lift helicopter deal following years of delays

15th March 2024 - 17:06 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The MoD claimed to have reduced costs on a deal to purchase 14 new CH-47 Chinooks by £300 million. (Photo: UK Crown Copyright/MoD)

The UK MoD has finalized a deal for 14 new CH-47 Chinook helicopters after affordability concerns, citing cost reductions and critical reforms for smoother US procurement process.

The UK MoD has concluded a deal to buy 14 new extended-range (ER) CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.

The £1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion) agreement to buy 16 helicopters was first announced in 2021. This was reduced to 14, then the whole deal was put on hold, due to the British Army’s affordability programme which questioned the viability of the procurement.

An agreement has now been reached, and the MoD has claimed to reduce costs of some elements of the programme by as much as £300 million.

As part of the deal, unidentified UK companies will produce some components critical for manufacturing and maintaining the Chinooks. The initially announced contract also included engines, radar, missile jamming equipment and machine guns. The delivery of the platforms was expected to be completed by the end of 2030.

Negotiations between the UK and the US have gone beyond the Chinook order, the MoD said. Without giving specifics, the ministry claimed that “critical reforms” were put into law to increase the speed and predictability of military equipment purchased from the US.

“Procuring these Chinook helicopters will mark a significant milestone in our efforts to modernise and enhance the agility of the UK Armed Forces, cementing our ability to respond at pace to situations and threats across the globe,” commented UK defence secretary Grant Shapps.

The Shephard News Team


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