UK to buy 14 Boeing Chinook helicopters


Britain has ordered 14 new Chinook helicopters made by Boeing in a deal worth 1 billion pounds (US$1.66 billion), the defence ministry said in a statement.

Britain has made heavy use of Chinooks to transport its soldiers in Afghanistan.

The new contract will bring Britain’s number of Chinooks to 60 and includes development, manufacture and the first five years of support to the new helicopters, Reuters reports.

After a review, the government announced last October an 8 percent real-terms cut in the 34 billion pound defence budget to curb the country’s huge budget deficit by 2015.

The government recently committed to a 1 per cent a year real-term increase in the defence ministry’s equipment and support budget from 2015.

Three of the new helicopters will be ready for deployment in early 2015 and all 14 will be fully operational by early 2017, the ministry said.