UK requests $3.5 bn FMS for additional Chinook helicopters

The US State Department on Friday 19 a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom of 16 CH-47 Chinook (Extended Range) helicopters for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

UK requests 3 5 bn FMS for additional Chinook helicopters 001 A Chinook HC3 helcopter from RAF Odiham lands at RAF Shawbury for a re fuel on route to its home station
(Credit: Crown Copyright)

According to the DSCA, United Kingdom requested a possible sale of 16 CH-47 Chinook (Extended Range) helicopters; 36 T-55-GA-714A engines (32 installed, 4 spares); 48 embedded GPS inertial navigation units (32 installed, 16 spares); 20 common missile warning systems (16 installed, 4 spares); 22 radio-frequency countermeasures (16 installed, 6 spares); 19 multi-mode radars (16 installed, 3 spares); 19 electro-optical sensor systems (16 installed, 3 spares); 40 M-134D-T mini­ guns, plus mounts and tools (32 installed, 8 spares); and 40 M240H machine guns, plus mounts and tools (32 installed, 8 spares).  This sale also includes communications equipment; navigation equipment; aircraft survivability equipment;  and other related elements of logistic and program support.  Total estimated cost is $3.5 billion.

"The United Kingdom is a close NATO ally and an important partner on critical foreign policy and defense issues.  The proposed sale will enhance U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing the United Kingdom's capabilities to provide national defense and contribute to NATO and coalition operations," the DSCA said. 

"The proposed sale will improve the United Kingdom's ability to meet current and future threats by providing a heavy lift rotary wing capability able to execute missions in extreme environments across a full range of military operations," the Agency added. 

The principal contractor of this sale will be Boeing Defense and Space, Ridley Park, PA. The RAF has been flying the H-47 Chinook platform since the early 1980s. About 70 aircraft were built and are still based at RAF Odiham. They are expected to remain in RAF service until the 2040s.