The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has invested £1 billion into upgrading its fighting fleet, and that includes purchasing 14 new CH-47 Mark 6 Chinook helicopters. The RAF has received the first three helicopters from Boeing and training for the new helicopter is currently underway.
Boeing UK and the RAF want to see the Chinook work as a battlefield workhorse, and the twin-engine, tandem rotor aircraft will serve as a valuable tool to resupply ground troops, transportation and logistics.
The helicopters have forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR), defensive systems, and a monolithic airframe designed specifically for the UK. The digital flight control system will also allow the helicopter to operate better in dusty and otherwise turbulent environments.
Here is what Air Chief Marshal Pulford noted in a statement:
“Chinook has proved itself time and again on operations, most recently in Afghanistan. The new Mark 6 variant will ensure the Chinook fleet is able to continue to play a key role in future operations, wherever they may be.”
Purchasing military equipment is big business from private contractors, and the spending continues – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan revealed the need for newer, more specialized aircraft and weaponry. The RAF is expected to receive the remaining order of Chinook helicopters before the end of 2015.
Thank you to LiveScience for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force