Disbursement of more than 1,600 million euros
British Air Force (RAF) Chinook helicopter. Photo: RAF
05/17/2021 | London
The UK Ministry of Defense has issued this Friday a statement detailing the purchase of 14 new helicopters Chinook for 1,400 million pounds (slightly more than 1,625 million euros at the current exchange rate). The moment coincides with the recent celebration of the 40th anniversary of the entry into service of these aircraft in the country (1981).
The new order, according to the text, “marks the commitment assumed in the recent Defense Command Paper to invest more than 85,000 million pounds [casi 99.000 millones de euros] in military equipment over the next four years to reform and renew our Armed forces”. Last November the british prime minister, Boris Johnson, specifically announced a total increase of 16,500 million pounds (almost 18,600 million euros) compared to the defense investment initially planned for those four years.
The official source recalls that the Chinook, which he describes as a “very versatile aircraft”, is a helicopter “proven in combat and operated in all major conflicts since the Malvinas War”. It also highlights its ability to “operate in a wide range of environments, from the desert to the Arctic, and transport up to 55 people or ten tons of cargo.”
Variante H-47 Extended Range
The device purchased is now of the new variant H-47 Extended Range (extended autonomy), capable of developing a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour and equipped with a series of new capabilities. These include the adoption of an advanced digital cockpit, a modernized airframe to increase stability and improve survivability, and a digital automatic flight control system that allows pilots to fly over areas with limited visibility.
“The Chinook [fabricado por la estadounidense Boeing] has been the workhorse of the Armed Forces [británicas] for more than 40 years ”, explained the secretary of defense, Ben Wallace. During this time, the aircraft has participated in a multitude of missions of different entities, “from helping emergency repairs to the UK’s flood defenses, providing vital logistical support during [la pandemia de] covid-19 to its fighting role on the Afghan battlefields. “
First deliveries, in 2026
“The innovator H-47 (IS) will be at the forefront of our specialized requirements in threat management and logistical support ”, added Wallace, before stating that with this acquisition“ we will be one of the few air forces with this capacity ”.
Helicopters CH-47 Chinook they are still active, in their different variants, in the arsenal of countries such as the United States, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Spain. The latter has commissioned the modernization of its fleet of 17 models of the model, of the version CH-47D, to convert them into the C-47F variant, for an outlay of 820 million euros. The Spanish schedule marks this year as the year in which the first modernized helicopter will arrive.
In the case of the British purchase of 14 new Chinook, it is an operation developed under the United States formula in accordance with overseas military sales (FMS, for its acronym in English). The transaction includes development and manufacturing over the next decade. If there is no news, deliveries will begin in 2026.
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