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UK to acquire extended range H-47 Chinooks

The Royal Air Force will acquire 14 extended-range Boeing H-47(ER) Chinook helicopters to enhance their heavy-lift capabilities, according to UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

The H-47(ER) Chinook has double the range of a standard Chinook and can perform air-to-air refuelling. They can carry up to 55 personnel or 10,000 kg of cargo and have a top speed of 300 kph (186 mph). Additionally, they feature an advanced digital cockpit and a modernised airframe for increased stability and survivability. These new capabilities make them suitable for a wide range of environments, from the desert to the Arctic.

The UK Government has successfully negotiated with the US Government through DE&S and Army Capability, which has reduced costs for elements of the programme by more than £300 million, ensuring that the UK armed forces get a cutting-edge capability while also providing value for money.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.”

“The Chinook is one of our most iconic aircraft, having been operated in every major conflict since the Falklands War. Delivering on this deal not only enhances our capability, but will boost UK industry and skills.”

UK companies will manufacture essential components required for producing and servicing the Chinooks. This will create job opportunities in domains such as aircraft avionics and electric power, and will also promote skills development and benefit the wider UK industry. The UK economy is expected to receive a boost of around £151 million due to this initiative.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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