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Chinooks To Be Called Back To Active Duty

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  • Chinooks To Be Called Back To Active Duty

    SOURCE:Flight International
    UK signs 90 million deal to fix grounded Chinook helicopters
    By Craig Hoyle

    The UK Ministry of Defence has approved a 90.1 million ($181 million) programme that will enable its eight grounded Boeing CH-47 Chinook HC3 transport helicopters finally to enter service from 2009.

    On 16 December Boeing received a 62 million contract for the project, with UK technology house Qinetiq to receive most of the remaining money to cover aircraft modifications and flight-test activities.

    The so-called "fix-to-field" work is part of a 235 million package that has already seen the UK acquire six AgustaWestland EH101 transports from Denmark to plug part of its battlefield helicopter shortfall. The MoD signed an initial 6.3 million contract with Boeing last August for the Chinook modifications, which covered aircraft characterisation work and the purchase of long-lead items.

    Early estimates had put the cost of the Chinook programme - which will clear the HC3 fleet for use about a decade after their intended entry to service - at 50-60 million.

    Meanwhile, the UK has confirmed that it will not be able to provide any military helicopters to support peacekeeping operations in Sudan's Darfur region. The UN recently requested that nations provide a combined 18 transport and six tactical helicopters to help its Darfur mission, but the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office says: "All British helicopters are fully committed to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."
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