New RAF Mk6 Chinook completes first flight
Boeing has revealed that the first flight of the newest CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter for the Royal Air Force (RAF) took place on 15 March at the Boeing helicopter facility near Philadelphia. The successful flight took place ahead of schedule and confirmed initial airworthiness for the Mk6 Chinook.
The Mk6 Chinook features advanced technology including UK-specific avionics, a forward-looking infrared system, and interoperable communication and navigation equipment. It is undergoing comprehensive testing in Mesa, Arizona in the US, before delivery to the UK later in 2013.
Capt. David Childs, Chinook team leader, UK Defence Equipment & Support, said: ‘This is a truly impressive achievement for both Boeing and the project team. To see the first aircraft fly less than 20 months after contract signature is a source of great pride for all those involved in this key project.’
The UK Ministry of Defence announced that it would purchase 14 new Mk6 Chinook aircraft in August 2011. The aircraft will join the RAF’s current Chinook fleet of 46 aircraft. The existing fleet is undergoing an upgrade programme as part of Project Julius to provide a new cockpit, upgraded engines, and a common configuration which will ensure coherence with the new Mk6 aircraft. The first upgraded Mk4 Chinook helicopters deployed to Afghanistan in late November 2012.
More from Defence Helicopter
Germany has committed to sending Ukraine six of its 21 retiring WS-61 Westland Sea King multirole, amphibious helicopters.
Boeing has clinched a major contract modification to further its backing of the US Special Operations Command’s MH-47G Chinook aircraft modernisation effort.
Two KAI helicopters, the KUH-1E utility helicopter and the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH), have taken centre stage at the Dubai Airshow 2023.
The Italian Navy now boasts a fleet of 56 NH90 helicopters comprising 46 SH-90As and 10 MH-90As.
The Argentinian Air Force (FAA) and the Argentinian Naval Aviation Command (COAN) are looking for options to upgrade their helicopter fleets.
Lockheed Martin promises a boost to the British job market and export opportunities, while strengthening ties with Poland and positioning the UK for a future in rotorcraft technology in the event of a New Medium Helicopter competition triumph.