Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UK to buy 30 Chinooks

The MOD is to buy 30 Chinooks it has been reported in order to increase the number available in Afghanistan. The number of Chinooks in theatre will be increased to 20 if the overall fleet can be raised from 38 to 68. Just two minor problems remain, one being the MOD haven't yet said where the money will come from (which means something else may have to take the hit) and the second being the US will have to be persuaded to let the British "jump the queue" and take Chinooks intended for the US if they are to be got into service within 2 years. A change in strategy means the UK helicopter will be reduced to 4 types in the longer term (which makes sense) : Chinook, Merlin (which will all be "marinised"), Lynx and Apache. A competition for a new medium lift helicopter has been abandoned in favour of Chinook.

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