The UK Ministry of Defence has agreed a £1.4 billion contract to modernise its Chinook fleet over the coming decade. The move will see 14 of the new H-47(ER) helicopters replace some of the country’s older models and modernise the UK’s heavy lift capabilities.
“Proven on both UK and overseas operations time and again over the last 40 years, the Chinook continues to be a critical capability for UK Defence,” said Commander Joint Helicopter Command, Air-Vice Marshal Nigel Colman. “This announcement assures Chinook operations for the decades ahead and is representative of our commitment to modernise capabilities whilst maintaining interoperability with key allies.”
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 with the new helicopters based at RAF Odiham, the home of the Chinook fleet.
“The cutting-edge H-47 (ER) will be at the forefront of our specialist requirements in dealing with threats and logistic support,” concluded UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. “Our £1.4-billion investment will mean we will be one of very few air forces with this capability.”