Refitted Chinooks operational after eight-year delay
Wednesday 13 January 2010
The first of eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters have been unveiled following a refit in Wiltshire after standing idle for more than eight years because of a blunder.
The two helicopters are the first of eight to be refitted by Boeing at Boscombe Down, to increase air support for the front line in Afghanistan.
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said at the unveiling at RAF Odiham: "I am delighted that the first of the Mk3s are now joining the Chinook fleet.
"They will provide an uplift in capability to support coalition efforts in Afghanistan, where Chinooks fly under very challenging conditions, proving their worth daily on operations.
"By the end of this year we expect to have all eight of these refitted aircraft in service, increasing our Chinook fleet to 46 aircraft.
"The arrival of these aircraft is further evidence of the measures we have taken to strengthen our support helicopter force and follows my announcement three weeks ago that we plan to buy up to 22 more Chinooks."
Commander of Joint Helicopter Command, Rear Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, added: "These aircraft will be vital in helping us expand our ability to train our crews and to support operations. They really will make a difference."
The Mk3 Chinooks were originally purchased at a cost of £259 million and fitted for special forces operations but were never used because the avionics software was unable to meet airworthiness regulations.
The helicopters were delivered by Boeing, which had met its contractual obligations, to the MoD in December 2001.
- 1 Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 4 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 5 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Germanwings plane crash: Transcript reveals passengers 'screamed for over five minutes' before plane crashed into mountain
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...