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The UK Ministry of Defence Confirms an Order for 14 CH-47 Chinook Helicopters With Extended Range

Credits: Business Insider

Britain’s heavy-lift capability is set to significantly boost with the acquisition of 14 extended-range Chinooks (CH47-ER), injecting an estimated £151 million into the U.K. economy.

These new Chinooks represent a substantial enhancement to the U.K.’s strategic mobility, offering unparalleled versatility in challenging environments.

With double the range of standard Chinooks and the capability for air-to-air refueling, they can transport up to 55 personnel or 10,000 kilograms of cargo, making them indispensable assets from desert terrains to arctic landscapes.

CH-47 Chinook Helicopters (Credits: Vertical Mag)

Featuring a top speed of 300 kilometers per hour, the new helicopters come equipped with advanced digital cockpits and modernized airframes, enhancing stability and survivability in diverse operational scenarios.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps hailed the decision to proceed with the contract following discussions with crew members from the Royal Air Force’s existing Chinook fleet.

Successful negotiations with the U.S. Government led to cost reductions exceeding £300 million for some aspects of the program, ensuring optimal value for money while equipping the armed forces with state-of-the-art heavy lift capabilities.

Shapps emphasized the significance of procuring these Chinooks, citing their pivotal role in modernizing and enhancing the agility of the UK Armed Forces. He highlighted the Chinook’s iconic status, having been deployed in every major conflict since the Falklands War.

The procurement deal is expected to strengthen military capabilities, stimulate growth in the UK industry, and foster skills development.

CH-47 Chinook Helicopter (Credits: Al-Quds University)

During his visit to Poland, Shapps engaged with his counterpart to discuss international support for Ukraine and interacted with British troops participating in regional exercises.

As part of the agreement, UK companies will play a crucial role in producing critical components for Chinook manufacturing and maintenance, generating employment opportunities in areas such as aircraft avionics and electric power.

Beyond the Chinook procurement, the UK’s collaborative efforts with the United States have resulted in the implementation of pivotal reforms that will benefit both nations.

These reforms aim to streamline military procurement processes, enhance speed and predictability, and reinforce partnerships like AUKUS through technology-sharing initiatives.

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