New Chinooks for Royal Air Force

The new Chinook Mk6 for the Royal Air Force, seen in 2013 during a test flight in the US. (Image © Boeing)
The new Chinook Mk6 for the Royal Air Force, seen in 2013 during a test flight in the US. (Image © Boeing)

The new Chinook Mk6 transport helicopter took center stage on Monday 16 June at RAF Odiham in the UK, at the unveiling of the first of fourteen helicopters for the Royal Air Force. During the occasion a 195 million USD contract with Boeing was announced for engine maintenance for the RAF’s fleet of 60 Chinooks.

The Boeing Chinook Mk6 – ordered in 2011 – features advanced technology including UK-specific avionics, a forward-looking infrared system, and interoperable communication and navigation equipment. The first Mk6 performed its first flight in April 2013 in the US before being shipped to the UK, where the helicopter will now begin service.

All fourteen new Chinooks should be delivered by the end of 2015 and the type should be fully operational in 2017. The Royal Air Force is the largest user of the Chinook in Europe.

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest